Printed letters, Nov. 22, 2010

I have been trying to make an appointment with many of the physicians in the Rocky Mountain Health Plans network, including the one assigned to me by Rocky Mountain. I have not been successful. Every single practice I’ve called has asked for all conditions that I have and the medications that I am taking and they will take my request to make an appointment under consideration.

This may be the M.O. here in Grand Junction, but it’s not normal practice in the rest of the country — at least the parts of the country where everyone is entitled to health care despite their illnesses.

I happen to come from one such area — Cleveland, Ohio — and I was a patient at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. These are world-class doctors in a world-class institution and I have yet to have a physician state that I need to apply to be a patient.

I have asked an ethics specialist on staff at Cleveland Clinic, three ethics professors and a professor at Cleveland State University. All are appalled at Grand Junction’s standard operating procedure for securing a physician.

From where I sit, this is plain and simple health/disability discrimination. If a doctor is taking patients, then that is what they do — they take patients. They don’t screen them for suitability. As a test, I did reveal one of my conditions to a doctor’s practice and I was denied as a patient.

Since Rocky Mountain Health Plans apparently knows about this despicable practice, it is complicit in its implementation.

By law, the doctor assigned to me by Rocky Mountain has to see me as a patient. His office denied me because of my refusal to turn over my personal health information without any protection of privacy. I know that a person is not guaranteed HIPAA protection until they become a patient, and someone giving me their word to keep it private — over the phone — is not reassuring.

This is not just about me. These citizens have been without physicians for so long that they are starved for medical attention. The doctors are taking advantage of limited resources and making the most out of their profit and their time. The doctors and all who know of this practice are predators, preying on Grand Junction citizens to maximize their output.

Hippocratic Oath? What Hippocratic Oath? Local doctors must have skipped that lesson.

SHANAE LEWIS

Grand Junction

It’s a disgrace that Rangel remains in Congress

The editor’s comments regarding long-time Congressman Charles Rangel were followed, in the same newspaper, by an article telling readers that he had been found guilty of 11 of the 13 charges made against him, but he could not be fired from his exalted position in Congress.

On the way to reaching this astute conclusion, part of the congressional proceedings were televised. Complete with body language, I do not believe there could be a more perfect display of disdain, impudence, arrogance, hubris and dishonesty than was shown by Charles Rangel. And I understand that he has just been re-elected?

And taxpayers in New York are paying for this? What a shameful disgrace.

MRS. H. N. SISCO

Grand Junction

Christian view central to founding of U.S.

Robert Laitres, in his Nov. 16 letter to the editor, says it is delusional to think a nation could only allow one religious belief to inform its laws and government. His argument stems from wanting to not only reject the intrusion of Sharia law, but any other religion into our government. I have to wonder just what country he thinks he resides in and what history he has studied.

Our Constitution prohibits the federal government from establishing a national religion. It says nothing of the influence of religion on government. Not only was it the biblical Christian philosophy and ethic, but the entirety of this worldview that permeated the thinking of our founders, and was the prime influence on the type of government they established.

Sharia law should be rejected because it is alien to and incompatible with the foundations of our law in the United States.

What is delusional is to believe that a government can be established in a valueless atmosphere. If we remove the Christian foundation and influence of our nation, some other religious view would rush in to fill the vacuum. The idea that secularism or neutrality can stand the onslaught of an aggressive worldview — such as Islam — is an untenable position.

Look at Europe. Would we enjoy the secular/atheistic regimes of Eastern Europe post-revolution (1917–18)? Can Laitres remember the death toll? When God and the inherent value of man were removed, human life was devalued and millions were slaughtered in the name of some superman or utopia, or even progress.

Laitres’ view is counter to reality.

TERRY BRIDGMAN

Grand Junction



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