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Letters to the editor — Tuesday (6-3-14)

NC Senate health plan ignores input
For the last 16 months, family physicians, the medical community and stakeholders across our healthcare spectrum worked diligently with the governor, the General Assembly and the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a well-reasoned plan to reform our state’s Medicaid system. The plan we helped create is designed for patients, healthcare providers and our state’s taxpayers.
Yet despite input from physicians, hospitals and the consensus of the legislatively-mandated Medicaid Reform Advisory Group, the Senate’s recent budget proposal ignores all of this hard work and arbitrarily moves in a different direction. The Senate has proposed an outdated, capitated managed care model of healthcare for North Carolina.
Our healthcare community worked very hard to develop a patient-centered plan aimed at improving quality while lowering costs. Yet, the policy changes and financial cuts proposed in the Senate budget could destabilize our healthcare system, including harming our most fragile citizens — the elderly, blind and disabled.
Family physicians think there’s a better way — a way developed through months of consensus building culminating in a plan to reform Medicaid endorsed by the governor, the healthcare community and key leaders in the state House of Representatives.
We hope the final state budget reflects this common-sense approach to Medicaid reform. It’s a plan that builds on what’s working, improves those things that are not and benefits everyone: patients, providers and our state’s taxpayers.
— Dr. Charles W. Rhodes
Mount Pleasant
The writer is secretary-treasurer of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians.

Article on target
The writer is referring to a story in the Post on May 25, “Influence of PACs growing,” by Jim Holt:
Very thorough and comprehensive article, Mr. Holt. Kudos! The article not only describes why we got to the current state of affairs, but also current anecdotal musings from some of the people who will replace the current group.
I guess it is not surprising that Chairman Jim Sides refused comment to The Post. He has blown them off for years. I think you portrayed him accurately/fairly in your article. Evidently, his incapacity to understand that actions lead to reactions led him, Craig Pierce and now Greg Edds down the Tea Party road that they chose. They were invincible! Yep.
Now, one has to give “creds” to Edds. He is much more suave and sophisticated than Sides or Pierce. Nonetheless, Edds is positively vetted Tea Party. He’s just slicker.
Hopefully the taxpayers and voters will remember this article come November.
— John T. Blair
Salisbury

Voice of the people
Something interesting and amazing happened in our hometown. We had some county commissioners that almost bankrupted the county. But a small group of people got together and formed a group of unaffiliated voters. Democrats, Republicans and Independents joined this group. They hit the social media sites and local newspapers, and when the time for the primary came, they were able to vote out those commissioners.
This goes to show you that the people do have a voice. So don’t let anybody tell you that a small group can’t change the world
­— Richard Morgan
Salisbury

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