NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Your Views Sunday, March 24

Advertisement
Gov. Kevin Stitt
Gov. Kevin Stitt

Question about “Medicare for all” proponents

I didn't realize how many people think Medicare is free. It’s not. Retirees have Medicare premiums taken out of their Social Security checks, and unless they have supplemental insurance (with additional premiums), they must cover 20 percent of their medical bills out of pocket. The question in my mind is how the “Medicare for all” crowd is overselling the gullible who think they would get free of any expense medical care if the same rules applied.

Charles P. (Pat) Kelley, Oklahoma City

Governor, taxpayers got snookered on this one

As the legislative session moves toward the halfway point, priorities of lawmakers and Gov. Kevin Stitt are becoming clearer. Easier access to guns and a potential statewide vote banning abortions have received much of the ink, as well as statutes that will govern how medical marijuana is legally used.

Additionally, five bills have been signed into law that allegedly will strengthen the governor's role in selecting directors to run five large agencies. In reality, these proposals do the opposite by giving legislative leaders four of the nine appointments to supervisory boards and commissions that will continue to exist, an obvious violation of the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

Even worse, by giving 149 lawmakers the power to impeach agency heads selected by the governor, the laws dilute, rather than concentrate, authority in the hands of our chief executive officer.

Compromise is important at the Capitol, but in pursuit of it the goal should be to reach the highest common denominator, not the lowest. Stitt, and future governors, got snookered on this one, not to mention taxpayers who will get to pay the added costs for this version of "running government like a business."

I realize Stitt has a degree in accounting but there is more to creating government efficiency than just addition and subtraction. A little more knowledge about the powers and duties of the three branches of government might also serve him well.

Cal Hobson, Lexington

Hobson, a Democrat, served 28 years in the Legislature.

It's time to take action on drug prices

It is time for Congress and the administration to take action to reduce prescription drug prices. Speaking of prices paid in other nations for drugs, the president has stated, “The same exact pill from the same company, same box same everything is a tiny fraction of what it costs in the United States.” Since that statement, some drug prices have escalated more. Big pharmaceutical companies insist high prices are necessary to support research and development, yet last year we again saw them earn billions in profits.

Despite numerous bills addressing this issue, Congress and this administration have consistently failed to act. The legions of pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington, coupled with massive campaign contributions to both parties, particularly to those in control, have prevented significant progress with only minor bills ever getting out of committees and to the floor for a vote.

We have a new opportunity in the 116th Congress to see real action taken on bills that if passed will allow individuals with a prescription to import a 90-day supply of safe and lower priced drugs from Canada; have Medicare put its drug list out for bid, like the VA does, saving it billions of dollars; ban deals made by brand-name drug manufactures to delay lower-cost generic drug introductions.

Many of these bills have companion bills in both houses and some have bipartisan support. Let your member of Congress know, it’s time for action.

A.A. Austin, Del City

Governor should hire the best people

I am outraged by the headline “Stitt’s cabinet lacks diversity” (News, March 19). We’re in Oklahoma, not silly Sacramento. I hope Gov. Kevin Stitt gets the best people he can to run the state government. If that means the cabinet is mostly white males, then good! If it means the cabinet is mostly blacks, Hispanics or women, that would also be good. But to use race or gender, even as a minor factor in choosing quality people, is a horrible idea.

I wouldn't want the OU football team or the Thunder to reflect the racial demographics of Oklahoma. Let's not use politically correct nonsense to hamstring Oklahoma's progress.

William E. Jones, Oklahoma City

The importance of colorectal screening

Colorectal cancer is the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Most common risk factors for colorectal cancer include age, family history of colorectal cancer and race. According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, only 60 percent of Oklahomans are getting screened for cancer — making Oklahoma rank in bottom 10 states for screening goals.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer in United States is 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women. The current American College of Gastroenterology’s 2009 colorectal cancer guidelines recommend patients with average risk begin screening at age 50. However, just last year the American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for average-risk patients to age 45. It's important to know colorectal cancer screening in blacks should start at age 45, because of the higher incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer and a greater prevalence of proximal or right‐sided polyps and cancer in this population.

It is extremely important to talk to your doctor about when you should start screening. Symptoms such as bleeding, even in younger people, should not be ignored. We must work together to increase awareness, ask questions, and address cultural and health care barriers to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in Oklahoma.

Pooja Singhal, M.D., Oklahoma City

Singhal is a gastroenterologist at St. Anthony Hospital.

Your View -- Letter to the Editor

Send letters to yourviews@oklahoman.com or submit through this online form . You can also mail a letter to Your Views, P.O. Box 25125; Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Word limit is 250. Include a postal address and telephone number. For other... Read more ›

Comments