Printed letters, June 8, 2011

Apparently Dr. Michael Pramenko didn’t get the memo. His latest May 19 op-ed in The Daily Sentinel ignores a trend that is crucial to the future quality of medicine in this country. As current president of the Colorado Medical Society, he should be aware of this trend.

Pramenko writes that, “We could continue to cut taxes, but we will have to end Medicare and the guaranteed access to health care that comes with it.” This is simply dishonest.

There is no such thing as guaranteed access with Medicare. In fact, the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act cuts $500 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

Many physicians are abandoning Medicare due to already-low reimbursements, and this is accelerating. I know from first-hand conversations with many of my colleagues that many of our most experienced physicians are planning their exit strategy from the practice of medicine entirely. Who will step up to fill the gap?

Every July 1, new medical-school graduates are unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Due to their youth and inexperience, the running joke among hospital staff is, “Pray for good health in July.” Well, here’s a news flash. If Medicare is not converted to a sustainable financial model and Obamacare is not repealed, you can expand that sentiment to say, “Pray for good health after age 55.”

Waiting times for doctor appointments in Massachusetts have almost doubled since the implementation of Romneycare. Continuing to spend other people’s money on massive, centrally administered health care plans will have the same result on a national level. Magical thinking will not create more physicians.

Pramenko’s quasi-representative roles do not qualify him as the voice of all physicians. Perhaps he should get out of the committee room and spend more time in the real world.

JAMES SCHROEDER, MD

Grand Junction

Sentinel should get its bird facts straight

One of the most rewarding aspects of reading The Daily Sentinel is the great photography that the photographers have provided us with over the years.  However, may I point out a serious deficit in printing these pictures, especially of the wildlife we have been blessed with here on the Western Slope.

In the June 2 edition’s “Ready to Pounce” photo, the red tailed hawks are not ready to pounce, since they do not hunt in packs. Instead, they are going through a mating ritual.  The hawk with legs extended is a male, the other a female.

The photographer has caught a ritual not uncommon for hawks, eagles and even ravens, where the male does aerobatics to impress the female and will fly upside down under the female, locking talons with her in his courtship frenzy.  It is not unlike our own species, especially young boys, who will act in a brainless/giddy way in the presence of young girls.

In the June 3 edition’s “No towel necessary” photo, the “small bird” pictured bathing in the fountain is a Western Towhee.  One of the most beautiful birds inhabiting our western environment.

My reason for bringing this bit of information to your attention is that most people think of birds as being either robins or sparrows. By not enlightening us with information to enhance your pictures does us a disservice by leaving us in ignorance.

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction

Gessler misconstrues secretary-of-state duties

Reading Gary Harmon’s article about Secretary of State Scott Gessler, it is not very difficult to ascertain that, far from serving all the people of Colorado, he is one who sought the office in order to serve his other masters and obstruct, as much as possible, those who wish to exercise their franchise, by intimidation if nothing else.

While we are all concerned about individuals voting when they should not, speculation on the number does a disservice to the public. There is only one individual I recall voting illegally locally, and that was because he was registered in two states. Because he was part of the local “good ol’ boy” network, nothing much happened to him.

The secretary of state is part of the executive branch, not the judicial branch. While they have to speak to each other, it is not Gessler’s job to “educate” (or indoctrinate) members of any other branch of government.

He is in the office of secretary of state to administer and enforce rules and laws made by others for the benefit of all citizens of the state. It definitely is not to interpret them through the prism of his personal, and totally materialistic ideology, nor to use his office to instruct others on how to circumvent any of them.

ROBERT I. LAITRES

Delta


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