Printed Letters: July 23, 2017

Health care should be about the patients

The debate over our nation’s broken health-care system can be extremely personal and contentious, but as our nation’s leaders struggle with this issue I hope they concentrate on making the Affordable Care Act (or its replacement) be what it never was: affordable.

Sen. Gardner has been a vocal leader in the fight against the massive premium increases facing many Americans. He pushed bipartisan legislation addressing opioid addiction and assisting in fast-tracking the development of new medicines and treatments. He has also been one of a small group of Republicans trying to create the Senate’s repeal and replace fix of Obamacare.

If Sen. Gardner and our other elected officials want to fulfill their promises and relieve the financial burden hurting many Americans, they will continue to work to lower premiums for working families and individuals. They must push back against the overregulation of the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, due to burdensome regulations, the average time to develop a drug is 10-15 years. This drives up costs, causes shortages, and causes the delay of lifesaving drugs that may never reach the patients they are intended to help. It is tempting to demonize a faceless industry as they are an easy target when many of us debate the issue, but rhetoric doesn’t bring about results and results are what we Americans need and deserve.

I urge everyone to remind our elected officials in Washington to help us all and keep this issue where it should be: about patients and their treatment.

Grand Junction

Bears shouldn’t be killed as a result of our ignorance

It happens almost every year in the late summer: Food sources for black bears begin to dry up and the bears head out in search of alternative food sources to prepare for the upcoming winter. Their search for food oftentimes brings them into rural areas and urban neighborhoods. Often, the mere sighting of a bear is reported to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the animal is trapped, ear-tagged, and relocated (Strike 1).

However, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife policies, if a tagged bear is reported a second time (Strike 2), it is destroyed. I have been an avid big game hunter all of my life and I have developed a deep respect for all game animals; however, I find CPW’s liberal application of their “two-strike” policy for bears to be a shameful and disrespectful practice. Across the state, CPW will kill several hundred bears each year simply because they are in search of food and are frequenting residential areas.

People living in bear country need to wise up and learn how to live with bears by keeping trash properly contained, not leaving pet food outside, keeping a clean camp, etc. Bears are an icon of the American wilderness and should not be snuffed out simply due to someone’s ignorance or carelessness. There are two-legged predators that live among us day in and day out that pose a much greater risk and threat to our communities than the occasional wandering black bear.

Grand Junction

Renaming North Avenue both ill-conceived and unnecessary

City Council members recently agreed to draft a resolution to rename North Avenue to University Boulevard and later consider renaming 12th Street to Maverick Way. As a long-time resident, I oppose these measures and urge the City Council to carefully consider the following points before voting on such a resolution.

Renaming these streets would confound the history of the city’s incorporation in 1881. The original plat of land was laid out with boundaries defined by North and South Avenues and by 1st and 12th Streets. Over time, historical research for various purposes could become more difficult. Colorado Mesa University borders only a few blocks along both routes, so renaming the entire corridors could be confusing for residents and visitors. Further, it makes no sense to encounter 11th Street, Maverick Way (with no 12th Street) and then 13th Street.

CMU’s goal of attaining an enrollment of 20,000 students is worthy of community support, as it has made valuable local economic, educational, and cultural contributions throughout its history. Nevertheless, no solid connection exists between achieving this goal and renaming adjacent streets. The university will attract more students by broadening its educational offerings, maintaining high levels of accreditation and academic reputation, and offering students career preparation paths at reasonable cost.

Changing a business address is not to be taken lightly. It is expensive and does not come without risk of retaining and growing the customer base. Making changes when faced with highly uncertain outcomes is not good business practice, and some business owners may resent being forced into a change they oppose.

Given these considerations and finding no concrete benefit to renaming these streets, I feel doing so is ill-conceived and unnecessary.

Grand Junction


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Ms. Wetzel is not really interested in efficient delivery of medical care to those in need, but rather in defending the profits of the pharmaceutical industry who, for the most part, being interested only in profits, will raise prices simply because they can do it.  Or, perhaps Ms. Wetzel has not been paying attention.

This de-regulate mania is really a sham, as that has nothing to do with the real price of medicines or many other things.  And in the pharmaceutical industry, all they care about is pushing pills and, in that effort spend far more in advertising and “pushing pills” on doctors than they do on research and development. The lady should do some more research or, if she does not want to do that, pay much closer attention to the headlines and the all too frequent occurrence of long existing drugs suddenly going up in price, not 10 times but by hundreds and thousands of times.  Those have been long existing drugs for which the price of development (whatever it was) has been recouped many times over.  The drug epineprin immediately comes to mind.

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