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Published: 12/7/2002

Footing bill for friends and lovers?

What were our local elected officials thinking when they wanted to consider offering live-in lovers and “friends” of city workers medical benefits? While most of us are tightening our belts to deal with the current in-the-toilet economy, our elected folks have the audacity to find other ways to spend our hard-earned tax dollars.

A recent Blade Forum writer opined that these folks should be able to enjoy the same rights as the rest of us. What rights? Which constitution and Bill of Rights, (U.S. or Ohio) states that taxpayers have to foot the bill for medical benefits for these people?

Whenever council comes up with one of these moronic ideas it always pointa to what 200 other communities are doing to support their ideas. Why doesn't council do that when those same 200 other cities spend money on street maintenance and repairs? Absolutely incredible.

RICHARD H. HAYES

Densmore Drive

So, the saga of ProMedica's attempt to limit health-care choice continues.

For several years it has been apparent that ProMedica's goal has been to dominate the health-care industry in northwest Ohio. In pursuit of that goal, ProMedica has focused on expansion and control. Health-care professionals have been frustrated by the decline in quality of patient care due to cost cutting, the waste of resources as facilities and services have been duplicated, and the struggles associated with the takeovers of their practices.

On more than one occasion, ProMedica has attempted to wield its insurance product, Paramount, to further the pursuit of domination by limiting patient and physician choice:

The Blade, Nov. 13, 2000: “Paramount offers doctors extra pay to refuse deals with rival insurers,” by Luke Shockman. “The largest health insurer in northwest Ohio will pay more to primary care doctors who agree to use the facilities, specialists, and rules of its parent, ProMedica, and who don't enter into contracts with rival insurance plans.”

The Blade, Nov. 28, 2002: “Paramount, doctor group still at odds.” According to this article, ProMedica has refused to offer a Paramount contract that is agreeable to Northwest Ohio Specialists, and one of the primary reasons for that disagreement is that ProMedica wants NWOS to affiliate with ProMedica in such a way the NWOS patients, even non-Paramount patients, would preferentially be referred to ProMedica-owned hospitals.

Physicians stood firm in 2000, and ProMedica's attempt failed. I hope the physicians of NWOS will also stand firm and refuse to compromise their patients' welfare. Regardless of the outcome, Paramount will no longer be my insurance provider.

DIANE SCHWARTZ

Northbrook Drive

Eileen Foley's op-ed piece (“Finding ways to keep lid on destructive behavior”) did well in condemning the post-game violence in Columbus. There is an easy solution: Cancel the stupid game. Detroit could not remove Oct. 31 from the calendar, but OSU can very easily take Michigan off its football schedule.

Forever? Not necessary. In college a generation passes every four years.

GEORGE H. BROWN

Collingwood Boulevard



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