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Letters for Friday, Nov. 17

Vote was for solutions

Why I voted yes on Prop 1:

I don’t want homelessness criminalized, but I also don’t want the unhoused to continue suffering. My votes for Prop 1, against Measure 1, and for Lisa Brown and Betsy Wilkerson was an opportunity to push the city and county toward providing adequate services to get people housed.

There are no easy solutions to homelessness, but continuously passing the buck by allowing camping “wherever” must stop. Warehousing, whether in a Camp Hope or a Trent “resource center” setting, isn’t a solution as well.

It’s well past time to get the consortium “Spokane Unite” moving forward to create sustainable services and solutions.

Kitty Klitzke was correct: “My theory is that voters approve it because they’re so frustrated with the problem, but they voted for us because they want someone with careful and compassionate solutions.”

Stop the infighting, foot dragging, useless political posturing, and work together to achieve solutions for compassionate care for our community.

As the “Spokane Unite” website states: “Our region’s greatest strength is our ability to build community vitality through regional partnerships and collaboration. Now is the time to use it. Together we can build a bright future for the Spokane region.”

Heidi Peterson


Private insurers never deliver

It’s that time of year again when seniors are inundated with deceptive advertising designed to get them to switch from one exaggerated commercial Medicare Advantage plan to another. Ever wonder how these companies can afford such massive advertising budgets when health care supposedly costs so much?

According to a new bombshell report by Physicians for a National Health Program, it’s all part of the $88-140 billion in annual overpayments by the government. This is money that Traditional Medicare could be spending on actual health care instead of on corporate profits, advertising, executive salaries, lobbying and useless overhead.

For example, adding dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare and Medicaid would cost about $84 billion, so there is more than enough money potentially available to make substantial improvements.

Worse, in 2019, MA plans improperly denied payments in roughly 20% of claims. Over 2 million preauthorization requests were denied by MA plans in 2021. In just two months last year, Cigna used an algorithm to deny 300,000 claims. Traditional Medicare denials rarely happen. As a result, doctors are leaving MA plans because they are interfering with the ethical practice of medicine and requiring far too much costly office administration.

The Senate Finance Committee recently held a hearing to investigate, and Cigna just settled a lawsuit for $172 million, but more must be done. For decades, private insurers have promised savings for health care. They have never delivered. Time to call foul on Disadvantage plans and push for comprehensive, single-payer national health insurance!

Cris M. Currie


Protect Gen Z against e-cigarettes

Did you know that e-cigarette companies are not required to label the contents of what is inside their products? According to the current CDC 2023 facts, minors are accessing e-cigarettes that contain nicotine 99% of the time.

Furthermore, the CDC expresses that there is a strong correlation between addiction to nicotine and falling mental health status. The upcoming generation is more prone to serious withdrawal from nicotine because their brains attach and grow around the habit of vaping. Recognizing that withdrawal symptoms often correlate to depression and anxiety is one more reason to advocate for ending vaping in our youth.

Due to unpassed bills, such as the Senate Bill 5239 concerning the “enhancing the regulation of vapor products and tobacco products,” our youth are not protected regarding correct labeling of vapor products, nor from the flavored products that target their innocence and naivety.

Parents and guardians of teens must encourage their kids to be aware that mental illness is correlated with nicotine addiction. As a member of generation Z, I have seen the depression and anxiety epidemic among our age group.

If you are a friend or parent to a struggling teen, help them to change habits and cues that lead to addiction. If you are struggling personally or not sure how to approach a loved one, call the SAMHSA hotline (800-662-4357) with them. We must encourage and find ways to flourish in this world.

Esther Roeber


‘Open your eyes’ was good advice

In his Nov. 4 letter (“Why does The Spokesman-Review print mostly negative articles about the right?)” Rick Richard let his thoughts be known. Among them:

• That he has faith in congressmen Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan and James Comer – each of whom actively sought to block certification of the 2020 presidential election.

• That this trinity will get to the bottom of the “gross corruption” of the Biden family and that the Department of Justice and FBI are “covering their behinds.”

• That the “liberal left” is intent on mandating which stoves, ACs, cars and other items people can purchase.

Finally, he implored readers to “open your eyes and vote with your heart, not the party line.” Good advice even as he appears to be in lock-step with his party’s line. But despite Richard’s criticism, The S-R printed his letter. It also endorsed Donald Trump in the last election.

The point is this: Just because Spokane’s largest local paper doesn’t always print everything you believe doesn’t mean it is the enemy of the people, as the previous president continues to scream – and those who support him often believe.

Murray A. Krow


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