Repetitive paperwork can

drive up health care costs

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Ever wonder why health care costs are so high and why the costs rise well above inflation each year? Let me offer a recent case that might suggest some reasons.

A family member recently needed surgery for a broken arm. In preparation, she had to visit two nonorthopedic specialists, the surgeon, her primary care physician, get a CT scan, have urine and lab work done, and complete a hospital admission phone interview with a nurse. Of course, there will be follow-up visits and, probably, medications.

Each of the above asked virtually the same questions and required the signing of similarly worded forms to ensure payment and protect privacy, as if such a concept actually exists. Some even had scribes to take notes.

Yet, none of these practitioners seemed able to share their information. One might think this could be easily done. But, no. Where are WikiLeaks and the National Security Agency when we need them? If these data could be shared, the only pertinent questions might be: Who are you? Who and when did you last see a provider? What has changed since then?

And, let’s not forget Big Pharma and the pharmacies that make drug cartels look like pikers.

Much of this is just defensive medicine in case there is some misstep and the provider will not be sued for malpractice.

If this fear is well-founded, then there should be tort reform that would limit excessive judgments while preserving the right for legitimate claims to proceed. This could reduce insurance and legal costs, along with eliminating some duplicative paperwork and nonessential staff.

This would give the judicial system the authority and responsibility to throw out nonsense cases while allowing providers to focus on patients and quality care. Could common sense about responsibility and accountability be so difficult ? Go figure.

Walt Pulliam Jr.


Green New Deal could be

too costly for many

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I appreciated Miranda Melvin’s recent letter, “Natural gas a clean, affordable energy source,” which outlined the health benefits of natural gas. She is right that increased production has helped keep energy prices steady and that this fact has benefited the least among us: working-class Americans and seniors on fixed incomes in particular.

We are a fortunate, wealthy country, which means we can afford to think about the environment. Too often, however, activists touting solutions like the Green New Deal or other radical, expensive plans forget that not everyone is well-off. For many Virginians, a spike in energy bills (or an increase in taxes to pay for massive government programs) would mean the difference between turning on the lights and eating a good meal.

Good for Melvin for attempting to present a broader look at this story.

Peter Foster.

North Chesterfield.

Gender ‘indoctrination’

unnerves reader

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

It’s back-to school time and the return of college football, but I suspect parents are more excited than the kids. This year, parents should realize things have changed since they graduated.

According to a recent article in The Federalist by one courageous mom with Concerned Women for America, the changes are profound. Her assessment is based on attending the freshman orientation at Virginia Tech.

One clue was the display of each person’s preferred gender pronouns on student and faculty ID cards. Next, the orientation was split into separate tracks so the faculty could deliver very different messages to parents versus students.

Many in the parent track expressed concern after the faculty said, “Don’t be shocked if your kid comes home changed.” Elsewhere, the incoming freshmen were being cautioned to avoid making assumptions about each other’s gender and given subtle hints to “be open to new experiences” including “fluidly exploring their gender and sexuality” as if entering some sort of sex theme park.

Having heard salacious tales about college activities after coed dorms first became the norm in the 1970s, I knew much had changed since my class of 1967 departed. However, Tech’s gender indoctrination program is more unnerving.

I realize Virginia Tech is not the first domino to fall in this direction, and understand that the tiny minority of students struggling with gender identity issues deserve to be treated with dignity. However, coercing everyone else to abandon long-standing cultural and moral standards to placate this minority seems both absurd and potentially harmful. And it is especially troubling when sanctioned by a prestigious state-supported university.

I’m telling my grandkids to forget college and attend a reputable trade school or join the military.

James Stansbury.


Reader calls lawsuit

a terrible precedent

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

To some, every issue looks like a nail. The NAACP’s lawsuit against Hanover County regarding school names smacks more of spite than justice — a thumb in the eye rather than any attempt at reconciliation.

Here’s hoping that this terrible precedent is struck down, and that a vocal minority is taught a valuable lesson. Primarily, that they have every right to take offense, but no right to expect that a court will suspend the rights of others in order to ameliorate them.

Tom Eaton.


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