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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Why does an ankle brace cost $904?

The $904 ankle brace

The ankle brace I eagerly waited for arrived. It is a slightly flexible, cast-like leather and fabric thing that fits over my foot and supports my ankle up to about 4 inches. It has laces and fits inside a shoe, with a matching insert so the other foot height will be even.

Estimated manufacturing cost: maybe $30, because it was made to fit a mold we sent. It rubbed and made a sore on my leg in 30 minutes, so I got a simpler Velcro ankle brace for $14 at the local pharmacy while I wait for the “next available appointment” to get the Medicare-approved device adjusted. The bill just arrived: Plan discount, $616.39. Plan paid, $230.09. My co-pay, $57.52. Society records the total medical cost as $904.

Now, can someone tell me whether the medical costs are out of control, or whether it is fantasy billing that is out of control? Maybe we could let a competitive market that is oriented to mass production and efficiency do for medical costs what competition has done for the cost of talking around the world.

Barbara Lee, Ph.D.

New Port Richey

A dependency epidemic

Regarding “It’s time to turn the spotlight on self-reliance” (Other Views, Nov. 20): Thomas Sowell’s column certainly hits the nail on the head. Today’s American culture of helplessness, victimhood, and the lefties’ push to help those “less fortunate” with other peoples’ money is hurting both sides, really. Encouraging and rewarding dependency only encourages more dependence.

This nation was not founded on helplessness, but on individual responsibility, hard work, risk-taking, saving and investing. Not whining and begging. Sowell cites Helen Keller and the armless engineer, and I have seen numerous other stories and videos of truly handicapped individuals and athletes who refuse to consider themselves disabled and have achieved significant success.

James R. Kramer, Esq.


Obama to blame

Regarding “On ACA, dig beyond a convenient excuse” (Your Views, Nov. 18): The letter writer says the insurance companies actually created much of this crisis and that “policies could have been made ACA-compliant without being altogether discontinued; that they exploited this transition period for their own economic advantage.

However, if it were not for President Obama this “ crisis” would have never happened.

The regulation to cancel your insurance was not in the original ACA legislation. President Obama added that regulation to the bill three months after the law passed. Republicans tried to remove this regulation and when it was brought up for a vote, every Democrat voted to keep this rule that cancels your insurance.

This is important because a lot of these same Democrats are now trying to save their hides by reversing this very regulation that they were all in favor of just three years prior.

The letter writer states that the Obama Administration chose to side with the health insurance industry and leave their central role intact. This is true, and the insurance industry will be the one entity that benefits from this horrendous debacle known as Obamacare.

Greg Hammond


Wrong on immigration

Regarding “Immigration reform: The most Republican of causes” (Other Views. Nov. 18): I, too, believe Ronald Reagan set a benchmark for presidents. But to suggest Reagan would look back on the debacle of his immigration amnesty as a success seems misguided.

The column’s author, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, uses a tried and true technique of the left wing throughout his article; he always leaves out the “illegal” part of “illegal immigrant” when touting the virtues and benefits of immigrants and immigration to this country.

What is important to know about this class of illegal immigrants is that, all things being equal, they do not aspire to become Americans citizens; were they capable of making a living in their home countries they would stay there. Further, the money they make in the U.S. they send back home and, aside from one vehicle supporting as many as six or seven workers and rent split among the same number, very little of their money stays in this country. For these workers, becoming an American would be at best a means to an end, not an opportunity for a new way of life.

Mark D. Turner

Wesley Chapel

Parents needed

Regarding “Government control,” (Your Views, Nov. 20): Contrary to the letter writer’s opinion, the government is not taking over child care. Parents have given up that responsibility. They expect their children’s teachers to teach their children good manners and how to act respectfully.

Teachers have enough to do without raising other people’s children while they are raising their own. Only those who are or have been in a classroom can understand what I am saying. Not all children are little angels in the classroom. Some of their behavior is learned at home, such as bad language that is inappropriate under any circumstance, and not listening to authority. When parents take on this responsibility things will change.

Anita Hoffman


Weather Center