Levy support appreciated
To the editor: On Nov. 6, Lucas County residents cast their votes for fighting child abuse by approving Issue 25.
This 1.85 mill levy, which will not be collected until 2014, will allow Lucas County Children Services to continue to investigate reports of, and protect children from the tragedy of abuse and neglect.
Declining state and federal revenues and reduced levy receipts imperil quality child protective services in many Ohio counties, so your vote of confidence is particularly meaningful. Just two weeks ago, LCCS learned that the Council on Accreditation reaccredited LCCS for the February 2013 through February 2017 period. Had Issue 25 failed, it would have been difficult for the agency to maintain the accessible, appropriate, culturally responsive, evidence- based, and outcome-oriented services to children and families that COA recognized us for providing. LCCS is among only 22 public child protection agencies in Ohio and 45 nationwide to maintain this designation.
On behalf of LCCS’ 360 employees and the hundreds of children and families they serve all year long, I thank Lucas County residents for protecting our community’s most vulnerable citizens by approving Issue 25. Please join us in remaining vigilant by reporting suspected abuse or neglect for 419-213-2273 (CARE).
Dean Sparks, Executive Director
Lucas County Children Services
Obama Care concerns
To the editor: We want to share our concerns regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), which is due to go into effect at the end of 2013. We have many doubts and concerns regarding this bill.
Primary to our concern is the effect of this bill on existing Medicare patients. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $716 billion will be taken from the Medicare budget to help fund the Affordable Care Act. This will result in less and poorer care for seniors. Many doctors will stop seeing Medicare patients due to the proposed decrease in payments to physicians. As a result, many seniors will have problems finding a physician and will have to wait an extended period for an appointment if indeed they find a physician. As a further result, disease processes will worsen and progress. We realize that Medicare is not a perfect system, and if left unchanged, will be bankrupt by the year 2024. We feel that there are other means of improving this system and preserving it for our younger generations to come.
Another concern is for our patients who have commercial insurance through their employer. Premiums, co-pays and deductibles are already up and are expected to rise further with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We are told to expect many employers to terminate their insurance plans and transition their employees to the government plan to save money.
Also, Affordable Care Act appoints a panel of non-medical personnel that will rule on who can have what procedures based on age and “cost efficiencies” of such a procedure. We definitely do not want such people making rules about what procedures/care can be given to our patients.
We are taking a similar viewpoint of the other federal program, Medicaid. We see many patients on Medicaid that benefit greatly by this program, but, as always, find some that abuse the program by overusing hospitals and emergency rooms which, in turn, drives up the cost to taxpayers. This program is in desperate need of renovation to continue to provide the social safety net needed to our society. We continue to care for Medicaid patients and request of our politicians that rules be put in place to insist on more personal responsibility on the part of patients in the Medicaid program that will place it on a sustainable financial path.
We feel that reforming these government programs will help to place them on a more sustainable pathway to help more Americans when they need help the most – during times of illness. We do not feel that the Affordable Care Act will accomplish this goal. Instead, it will result in poorer care, long waiting lines for care and a huge, inefficient government bureaucracy that always seems to lead to multiple abuses of the system.
Robert A. Schmidt, M.D.
Patricia Vega, M.D.
Dr. Schmidt has been in the practice of primary care in Northwest Ohio for the past 33 years. He is on active staff of three local hospitals and has also worked in local clinics and an emergency room.
Dr. Vega has been in the practice of primary care in Northwest Ohio for the past 26 years. She is on active staff of three local hospitals.
Editor’s note: According to FactCheck.org, the Affordable Care Act calls for a $716 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare spending over 10 years. About $415 billion of that would come from reductions in the future growth of payments to hospitals through Medicare Part A. Without spending reductions, the Part A Trust Fund, by some projections, would be insolvent by 2016. With the reductions, the projected insolvency is delayed to 2024.
However, Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, has said the law can’t extend the life of the trust funds and pay for other measures such as coverage expansions at the same time.