Applaud Paul's Medicaid, Medicare practices
The Herald-Leader has reported several times that Dr. Rand Paul has received more than $130,000 from the state Medicaid program over the last five years. Without context, the figure has absolutely no meaning.
If during that period he cared for 130,000 Medicaid patients, the program and the taxpayers got a great deal. If it cost him $130,000 to see those patients (you know — rent, utilities, malpractice insurance, employee salaries, employee retirement benefits, Social Security taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, school taxes, professional licenses, office computers, phones, paper, toner, office supplies, postage, business insurance, unemployment insurance, worker's compensation insurance, employee health insurance, professional dues and fees, etc.), he got the shaft. If he saved one patient's eyesight, it was worth every dime.
Paul became an eye doctor before he became a politician. You cannot practice ophthalmology without seeing children and old people, which is to say you can't practice ophthalmology in the United States without accepting Medicaid and Medicare patients, your feelings about the programs notwithstanding.
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In an era when many specialists limit or refuse to see Medicare and Medicaid patients because government reimbursements frequently do not cover the costs of seeing such patients, Paul should be commended for caring for his community.
Cameron S. Schaeffer
Blather or lies?
I saw a recent interview in which former Sen. Alan Simpson made it abundantly clear he is either ignorant of the facts about Social Security or he was just plain lying, and I don't know which is worse.
He said a 1985 Social Security commission "didn't know about the impending retirement of the baby boom generation." Since everyone in the baby boom was born from 1946 to 1964, the youngest baby boomer was at least 20 years old at the time of the commission. Since demographics is as near to an exact science as you can get, Simpson has to be crazy or ignorant to make such a statement.
Also, he claimed that, at a point in the near future, Social Security recipients will receive only 75 percent of their checks because "not enough money will be coming in to pay 100 percent." This totally ignores the trillions of dollars Social Security has brought in in excess of funds paid out over the past 50-plus years that should be used to pay 100 percent of Social Security checks.
And there was much more that shows either this man is a blathering idiot or lying through his teeth.
James R. Porter
Follow the leader?
Several months ago, I read articles in the Herald-Leader about grants for residents and businesses who are willing to make changes to their property to reduce storm water runoff and thereby reduce the stress put on our undersized storm sewer system and also reduce their storm water fees. These fees are based on the amount of impervious surface area of the lot.
Reducing storm water runoff is a smart "green" thing to do. Taking care of this planet and acting locally to do it are completely rational.
On several recent trips downtown, I've seen the grand scale of the sidewalk construction. I can't help but wonder if the Urban County Government designers included pervious pavers, rain gardens or other impervious surfaces in the upgrades.
I always thought that leading by example was a good bet. Not so for Urban County Government?
There are times when asked "Who did you vote for?" that my basic answer was "For the lesser of two evils." Anymore, that question is almost moot since the lesser of two evils is too hard to determine. Most races in our local districts are seemingly popular choices, but again, it seems to be for the lesser of two evils.
Democrat by family, I always "vote the man, not the party." I must admit, though, that with each election, it becomes more and more difficult.
I listen, I watch, I read and try my best to vote for the "best" of those seeking office.
Can you do the same?
I am troubled that the Republican and Tea parties are seemingly out of touch with our nation's proud political roots.
For example, both parties strongly suggest that our own government is our enemy. Government, they say, is something scary, horrifying even. Government is to be feared, they say. The two parties remind me of someone advertising a Halloween haunted house.
They advocate for much smaller government with a smaller role in the lives of its citizens.
Yet they have forgotten the words of the Republican Party's own founder: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln advocated for a strong central government, "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people." But those fear-mongering Republicans and Tea Party folks are promoting fear of our own government.
I guess they think they have the right political strategy. After all, who needs Lincoln when you have Rand Paul and Sarah Palin, right?
Angela M. Arnett
Concerning the fate of religious-based billboards on Interstate 65 (June 16 story), I've got an idea that might just kill three "ladybirds" with one stone, saving money, lives and souls. Considering the feds spend billions of dollars they don't have on their "click it or ticket" promotion, I think Jimmy Harston should make a couple of changes to his billboards to help reduce the cost. The new boards could read like this:
"Jesus died for our sins, not your stupidity. Buckle up."
"If you died today where would you spend eternity? Not sure? Buckle up."
"Hell is real. So is your windshield. Buckle up."
Of course, the secular bureaucrats will not allow such signs. To them, the landowner's message would not be acceptable even while riding shotgun with their prized infringement on personal liberty. Their desire for a godless society and the slavish drones it will produce never take the back seat.
Champ W. Webb
Our Fourth of July Parade was so disappointing. I took my 9-year-old and explained to him why we celebrate. Instead of appropriately themed floats, I saw the worst hodgepodge of vehicles, politicians, media personalities and other groups who did not bother to connect themselves to the occasion.
Thank you, Explorium, for actually putting thought and effort into your float. Thank you, Laura Bell Bundy for providing the only star power. Thank you to the few who made any attempt to provide a patriotic theme.
Come on Lexington. Let's remember why we celebrate the Fourth of July.