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Published: Sunday, 6/22/2008

Vote to bar premium rise for Medicare

AARP Ohio is urging Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio) to keep Medicare fair by voting to prevent an additional premium increase. We support paying doctors fairly, but fixing the flawed physician-payment formula should not add to Medicare recipients rising financial burden.

This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the bipartisan Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, and we are urging the senator to vote in favor of this legislation.

Introduced by senators Max Baucus (D., Mont.), Olympia Snowe (R., Me.), Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.), and Gordon Smith (R., Ore.), this legislation strengthens Medicare and helps to limit premium increases while holding off a payment cut for doctors. It improves help for low-income individuals and will spark widespread adoption of e-prescribing that reduces errors and saves lives and money.

Ohioans have seen their Medicare premiums rise unfairly as a result of past stopgap efforts to keep doctors in the program. Medicare premiums have more than doubled since 2000, and on average, Medicare enrollees pay for half of all their medical expenses. People in Medicare pay their Part B premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles at the hospital and doctor s offices, and, for many, supplemental and prescription-drug insurance premiums.

Raising Medicare premiums even more to cover skyrocketing health-care costs is eroding or eliminating the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

AARP urges Senator Voinovich to heed the calls of thousands of Ohioans and vote to prevent another rise in Medicare premiums.

Joanne Limbach

PresidentAARP Ohio

Well, we finally have a representative in our area who is going to try to do something about the budget deficit.

With his no vote, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta is going to deny some laid-off workers an extra 13 weeks of benefits because he says it will inflate the budget.

Well, the country got what it deserved in Washington for the last eight years; maybe we in northwest Ohio are going to get a dose of Mr. Latta for a while. Hooray for business, and the little guy be damned. I hope he uses that slogan in his next campaign, along with I approve this message.

Charlie Leininger

Woodville

After reading economist Arthur Laffer and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta in The Blade in the June 17 issue, one wonders what planet these two have been on for the last 30 years.

Mr. Latta claims that cutting unemployment compensation will significantly cut into a $9 trillion federal deficit. Meanwhile, he continues to increase that deficit by voting for questionable military and war contracts.

Mr. Laffer s comments would be laughable if the joke wasn t on us.

It seems everyone but him knows that businesses don t pay taxes; they just pass the extra costs over to the consumer. His trickle-down theory has consistently proven to be a tragic mistake. Outsourcing for cheaper foreign labor, lowering taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and NAFTA trade agreements have all resulted in today s depressed economy.

Mr. Laffer and Mr. Latta want to balance the national debt on the backs of the hard-working middle class. No middle class means no America, only a banana republic of the very rich and the very poor.

The only sane voice today is from Sen. Barack Obama, who suggests fairly distributing the burden of President Bush s $9 trillion deficit among all Americans.

Paul Szymanowski

Curtice

I am so angry to think that Judge James Jensen of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court would set a priest free after the priest had confessed to abusing a man. This is why the abuse goes on and on. This priest should be behind bars so he can t abuse another victim. What is wrong with our court system?

It takes a lot for a man to come forward and tell about sexual abuse from another man. This poor victim s life will never be the same.

This judge should have this happen to him and then maybe he would do something for this poor victim.

Helen Schoeppner

Marietta, Ohio

A friend and I recently attended a high school graduation party of a student we both taught 8 to 10 years ago. His party was a beautiful tribute to the young man he has become.

We were both so pleased with all of his accomplishments, and we knew that he would go far. His parents and his brother and sister are loving and beautiful people too. Their son was valedictorian of his high school class, and he is going on to Harvard in the fall.

While driving home from the party, I was reminiscing about my 30 years of teaching and the students lives that have touched me in special ways.

It brought tears to my eyes to think of how many lives are touched in the teaching profession, including the teachers, students, and parents. It s true that all of the years have not been easy ones, but no profession is ever easy.

Thanks to all of my past teachers who instilled in me the love of learning and my love of teaching. May my daily vocation continue for many years to come.

Mary K. Reisinger

SylvaniaSecond-grade teacherWhiteford Elementary School

I was sorry to read of the death of the Rev. James Say s resident fox snake in The Blade. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the eastern fox snake is a species of concern in Ohio; the species is listed as threatened in Michigan and Ontario.

Fox snakes are harmless and do us the favor of keeping the rodent population in check. One minute of Googling, and that courageous woman would have known she was about to kill an animal that is on its way to endangered status.

I m not particularly fond of snakes, but I see no reason to kill a creature that isn t bothering me. Father Say s neighbors should have followed his example and left the snake alone.

Virginia Henriksen

Rockspring Road

The City of Toledo gave Portside, one of the most valuable pieces of riverfront property on the Maumee, to the state of Ohio. Ohio should give it back to Toledo.

The Toledo Zoological Society, which can manage money, should be given any rides, exhibits, etc., it wants to be moved at the zoo s expense to the zoo s property.

Owens Community College should be given the opportunity to rent and maintain, including security, the bulk of the building for the 101 lecture classes, which require no special accommodations; some dividers and a little wiring should do it.

The little kids areas, kitchen, nursery, and water-play area should be offered to the YMCA or YWCA for a day-care; if they don t want it, perhaps Owens would like to expand its day-care.

This is convenient for bus riders, will cost the City of Toledo almost nothing, and puts maintenance back on the shoulders of the occupants.

Case closed.

Dwenna Shulters

South Avenue

There is a small cure for some of Toledo s budget problems: Our streets are in sad shape while criminal elements in our society want to join gangs.

Two words: chain gangs.

Ron Marshall

Islington Avenue

Why has President Bush not lowered the speed limit to 55? It worked quite well in the 1970s, so why not today?

DAWN KINSEY

Gramercy Avenue



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