Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Health care, Hanford waste, Medicaid gap

Health care

Our daughter is thriving — straight A’s, athletic, social life, generous — she’s got it all. Except two hearing ears.

At the age of 3 she got a virus that caused irreversible hearing loss in one ear. Her ear has no nerve, no cochlea. Unilaterally deaf children struggle.

There’s a treatment called a bone-conduction hearing aid. It’s simple, elegant and readily available. Our ENT sent the pre-authorization to insurance and we were denied. What? “Out of pocket it shall be.” No, also not an option. Drilling into my child’s cranium under anesthesia could have complications. The hospital would not take on the risk without pre-authorization.

The advice was to apply for welfare. No thank you. That program is for those who need it. Not those who are the victims of barbaric insurance policies.

Through ACA we were able to buy a policy for Stella and get the hearing aid. We’ve since dropped that policy (very expensive/high deductible). Stella recently rejected the implant and we had it removed in mid-July. We are looking into international medical tourism to get the care needed.

Let that sink in. To get our child care she needs, we might head to India. We can do better, Idaho. We can.

Jennifer S. Thornfeldt, Boise

Hanford waste comments

I am responding to David Monsees’ letter regarding comments about accepting waste from Hanford for processing at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Plant (AMWTP) at the Idaho National Laboratory. The mission at AMWTP is coming to an end because of the incredible job they have done cleaning up 4,500 cubic meters of radioactive transuranic waste. Because of this success, the Department of Energy (DOE) began studying the possibility of using assets at AMWTP for other missions, namely processing waste from Hanford. DOE, at my request, is preparing a business case analysis of whether it even makes financial sense to do this. That analysis is not yet complete and no decision has been made. While I do believe there are some appropriate updates that could be made to the Idaho Settlement Agreement (such as updates needed to keep the Navy’s facility operational in light of the delays in Yucca Mountain), never did I indicate that if this waste were to come to Idaho, that it should be allowed to stay there for an extended period of time. It’s unclear to me why Monsees would want to mischaracterize our discussion other than to frighten the public based on inaccurate and incomplete information.

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, Idaho 2nd Congressional District

Medicaid gap

As an Idaho doctor, I have seen what happens when patients don’t have insurance.

I think of Andy, an uninsured 41-year-old, running a small engine shop, who couldn’t always afford his expensive asthma medicines. When he ran out, he’d end up in the hospital, over and over.

There are many more hardworking Idahoans who simply can’t get the basic health care they need.

It’s time to stop. It is time to close the gap and support Prop 2, which will help working folks who make too much to quality for Medicaid, but too little to afford health insurance.

Kathleen Romito, M.D., Boise

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