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October 8, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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October 8, 2009
 

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, October 8, 2009 .and ships..and sealing wax..by Ann Young Gregory How's your health? How's your health? That is, how's your health beyond the anxiety that most of us have as we con- sider the state of healthcare in this nation, and the steps which are being taken to change it (or, de- pending for the most part on which side of the aisle is concerned, steps which are being taken to maintain the status quo). Heaven only knows what will finally emerge from both houses of Congress and whether or not the result will resemble what the President had in mind for healthcare reform to a sufficient degree that he'll be willing to sign the bill, assuming that a bill makes it to that point, into law. House Resolution 3200 is now in the Senate Finance Committee--it's due out any day now--in fact, it could have made its way to the floor of the Senate, with the Committee's recommendation or not, by the time this is published• One of the elements which President Obama originally suggested was that some sort of healthcare option provided by the government be included. He evidently has in mind a kind of coverage which would be available to anyone who wishes to choose it over health insurance offered by private companies. For some reason, this has sent the anti-Obama faction (read that "the conservative right") into spasms. They have charged everything from establishing socialism to embracing euthanasia for senior citizens. (Just a note which seems relevant--according to an account I saw recently, private insurance companies use thirty- one percent of premiums--off the top--for administra- tive purposes. The federal government, to administer Medicare, uses three percent. Interesting, huh!) As far as those who charge that the government- offered option would create socialism, I hope that culture of 200 yeats ago whose people were said to: put their old folks out on an ice floe which was then left to drift.. True, some insurance companies even today refuse to fund procedures because they find them "unnecessary" or for some other reason (deci- sions which insurance companies are, at best, ill- equipped tO make), but even to suggest that the government (or anybody else, for that matter) would suggest that senior citizens be encouraged to commit suicide to get them out of the way is just sick, sick, sick. (Snopes.com. discusses this urban legend.) One element of the cost of healthcare which I've discovered is.that if one is insured, even with a good policy, almost all, like Medicare, have a co-pay and/or deductible amount which isn't covered by the insu- rance. The insured has to pay it, or has to have a supplement to pay it. Doctors (and this includes almost all of them, although I understand that not all doctors participate in all insurance plans), anyway, doctors agree to accept what the insurer (whether that's the government, in the case of Medicare, or private insurance) agrees to pay for given treatments and procedures. The difference in the accepted amount and what the insurance actually pays (it's often eighty percent paid by insurance and twenty percent by the insured), is what the insured person pays. However, and this is a BIG discrepancy, if the person who receives the treatment/procedure isn't insured, then he/she is responsible for the entire amount, and not whatever lesser amount the doctor has agreed to accept from the insurance company. Here's a perfect example. I had to have a blood test in another venue than my regular doctor's office. none of those people who are past 65 accept Medi- Now while the place where I had it DID send the bill care, for which they've been paying, assuming that to Medicare and my supplement insurer, it also sent a they work, for years. Instead, since they are repulsed by insurance provided by the government, I would expect them to purchase insurance from a private in- surance company, senior citizen or not. Each recipient has for years paid for Medicare along with Social Security. Those of us who are already at or past the age at which one officially qualifies as a senior citizen have learned that, like most private insurance health- care policies, Medicare doesn't pay it all--if the individual doesn't want to pay what amounts to the balance of whatever charge is involved, he/she must have a supplement. Allen and I have such supple- ments which provide the added coverage we need. Don't misunderstand--we've both found Medicare to bill to me. This bill, remember, was for a blood test only--no doctor's appointment or anything else--just a blood test which listed results of eight elements. (Blood tests at my regular doctor's office usually list twenty or twenty-five bits of information the blood test reveals.) Anyway, the bill which I received for- this single blood test was for $1,300-plus. As it was, Medicare and my insurance supplement company paid the pry-arranged sum which they pay for blood tests. However, had I not had insurance, I'd have had to pay the entire $1,300-plus. That, my friends, is nothing. less than highway robbery! Transpose that to a bill for a week in the hospital, or a surgeon's fee for a critical procedure, and the cost is unbelievable! Capitol Commentary LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO BOOST PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC HOMES Measure Will Provide Tax Credit for Homeowners Rehabilitating Historic Homes Our region boasts of a unique The Historic Homeowfiers heritage and rich history that should be preserved for future generations• In many of our communities, historic homes shed light on this heritage with distinctive architecture and the stories of the families who Revitalization Act is based On a similar homeowner tax credit program implemented in Miss- ouri, Missouri's program has helped revitalize communities, assisted homeowners in en- hancing their homes and has inhabited them in years past. For resulted in more than 40,000 these reasons, I am pleased to be jobs in the past decade. a cosponsor for the Historic Homeowners Revitalization Act, which has been introduced recently in the U.S. House of Representatives. If enacted, the legislation would encourage his- toric home preservation by pro- viding a tax credit for home- owners who rehabilitate their historic homes• Historic home preservation projects not only benefit our region's culture but also provide new job opportunities for con- struction workers, architects and engineers• The Historic Home- owners Revitalization Act gives homeowners access to the same kind of tax credits currently available to commercial devel- opers through the National His- toric Rehabilitation Tax Credit The legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Repre- sentatives would create a 20 percent federal tax credit up to $60,000 for homeowners Who rehabilitate a historic structure. To qualify, a taxpayer must make qualified rehabilitation expenditures, over a two-year period, exceeding more than $5,000 or the taxpayer's basis in property. The historic home must be used as the primary residence. The bipartisan legislation is supported by the American Institute of Architects, Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. I am pleased that the Historic Program• This existing program Homeowners Revitalization Act for commercial developers hasL has been introduced, and it will helped preserve commercial bui- receive my strong support when ldings while creating an it is considered by the U.S. estimated 67,000 jobs. House of Representatives• Wise County SherifFs Report : served 431 Civil Papers. During The Wise County Sheriff's this seven-day period '15 Office reports the following additional Criminal Investi- activities for the period of gations were initiated and 35 9/21/2009 through 9/27/2009. were cleared by arrest. The Wise Central Dispatch received a Sheriff's Office provided 238 total of 1,345 calls for this seven- man-hours of Court Room day period• Of the total calls Security for the three courts. received 362 were dispatched to The Sheriff's Office tran- the Sheriff's Office. Totalsported 0 adult in state, 2 adult number of Domestic calls for this out of state, 4 mental patient, and period was 19. Criminal Process 6 juveniles for a total ofi 12 be a wonderful comfort. (I've found that goodI know the government offers Medicaid to some for the same period served 54 transports, involving 53.75 hours. coveraoe is of utmost imnortance since I've had to uninsured children and adults who have no other Felony Warrants, 70 Misde- , The Sheriff's Office unlocked " ' ..... -' .... o-tions Even so I also know that there are about 44 meanor Warrants, 1 DUI Arrest 4 vehicles ana escorted 7 aeal wire repeatea LI scans ano cnemomerapy anar, - " ...... . . . 1 Ar,-ia,m* funerals durin this seven.dav some radiation over the past seven or so vears,-none mllhon people in the Umted States WhO nave ....... ¢,.. ,h; .... ner;.a : of those services would be affordable, at least to me, health insurance. That s .right at .fifteen percent..When .... _ , ou consider that this is the richest country In the without insurance.) Ivy often worried about the Y " . . Programs at the J. Fred Matthews people who have health problems, but who don t have world, and also is the country which has almost the access to any kind of insurance--which is what highest regard for human rights of any other nation in Memorial Library healthcare reform is all about the world, you can realize how disgraceful it is for .... ......... ; . ..... ..... .. -rrograms t eglnnlng weanesoa ugust zuu As'to'theaee at(0"n t rat flae()b" a plan Calls for people in this country to have to die because mey "-" Preschool Pro-rams "- - - . .... : , ' . .... Family Fun - All ages. 'An euthanasia (sorn r, versions call it.,','gOmaseling to en- don t have access to healthcare--because they have Mother Goose-.Ages 0-23 outlet for families to enjby " Insurance months with a careglver 15 to t courage suicide ) for senior citizens, what in the • , ^ ..... - library services and to ir .eract • . . at the President s minutes or sharing board and . ., world could these people be thinking9 This is the " How the people who are fuming " _ ..... together in a relaxed, supportive United States of America in the ninth year of the proposalscan be so uncanng.ls.beyond me. In my th cera i° t esTnYomegsan nV ta s ntreadB. lOkuds, Shatr , twenty-first century, toy pete s sake, not the Eskimo opinion, it s homing snort oicrlmmaL fingerplays, tellin" educational -ames ........ I Toddler Time - 2 year olds • - "r 1 • r, . " " & young three'swith"" a entertainment. ; . .... , -.- raanoween safety tins • , Library Tours & Outreach ............ • / 1" caregiver 30 minutes or rnymes, Library Tours Library LetterS tO the e(,lllOF... AdviceforChildrenParents, Drivers&Homeownersfingerplaysandageappropriate " - ' ' ' book " " - . . Tours and special programs are • . . " . Full Gospel Church and Mary Halloween is atime ot great' Use"tiigh I eams to see and be ment " 8ffmi lemUc]lical dnS enes available for schools, home I Readers are invited to write I Martin Presb- erian Church fun for children, but it can be a seen. . ,,. v , , o' schools, girl scouts, boy scouts, torytemng, nanne ooaras [ietter anmntte q of eeneral ] I am - ateful to Russell little scary for parents and Trick-or-treaters should al-. . , etc. Contact Miss Barbie - . . • puppets uccaslona age appro- 2 [ c. -eii s Dickenson Coal Comnanv and drivers. Children are often out ways be accompanied by an ,..; .... Merlette 762-970. I 'reflecithe its employees; Frank K lgore; after dark, crossing busy streets adult or travel in a group, m ....... Outreach Programs -We e t nuaren ages 1 da care I ............... : ...... .... 1,,, and nerhans going to unfamiliar Children should be told not to .... . . will visit your schoo, y , i e_ ff_orm_'pmlosopny'"• ' .dr eo torlm- -" .... -'-'donated' ' " "" "" ' food for"'u"" u' the drive.--""I homes,,• ...... eat any unwrapped candy or tOstories,3 l books,n°ur Orebooks,age-approprlaterhymes parent, group, etc. Contact Miss newspaperl, also offer thanks to those who With excited kids frantic- treats until they return home ......... Barble Merlette 762-9702• [ whic'h reserves the rig, ht to participated in the reading and cally going from neighbor to where their parents can see anth flramngeT aY2rds °ryten tg ...... ,- [ edit letters. The Clinch those who helped set up andneirtghb rrl drlcVe Suneedsai O de emd Makinge re hkid nhTu] Activities such as dancigg PPong [ [ i [ Valley Times will not print break down the event: Charlie P Y , Y Y g to music usin musical instru t t I .... --" .......... " Enole Rita Ouillen Jane Hicks, Palermo, director of public infor- may help. . ,•.. g . .. [ ot al I i [ i unsigned letters e, , , • , • • ments wire mymes, educational ] tmslgnea etters. Jennie Hill, Glenn Gannaway, marion for Teachers InsuranceParents may want to limit ....... ............... nts run b olice games May lnciuae occasional , I Krista Gibson, Daniel Stanley, man. however, ny ronowmg KIdS tO lOCal eve Y P ' ,- ..... .... , ! ..... nt • . • crart or Him activity• rqote: t~ue ~.... . ~,_.. _--..~ , | 1",, )r,o r~a~,,~• Nancy Steffev Shy Kennedv some simple advice, pare s, stauons, nrenouses, senmr Cltl- t,a th~ ct .... I ..... , ,,~,~a~ ,~¢ ,h;~ ~e-~| 111~Oi'1~'-~~,~.~--'~ " ! sq hav, October 3, and Jerry Hall 'The managers children, drivers and homeown- zen centers or local businesses, "" .......... e ...... .* ........ .... o • • • • age group, careglvers are not ,. i writers from throughout the the Clinch River Farmers Mar- ers can all have a safe, enjoyable or .organize thmr own through required to remain in the im- Valley ! region participated in a literary ket were very gracious in letting time. . thel[scnooL mediate stor,,ti ...... • i...,., " I reading and food drive. Weus use the s te, tables, chmrs and If children are out at mglat, Parents should incorporate ever he/she must remain in the ' | collected a truck load of food tents to host the food drive, drw r a e2ds Onbepanrt ulva[ly flec lve, apeloms ct2t mss or library or designate another adult l l lnllR L_- :] which will be distributed to Smcerely, g gn ease .......... a.~ ..... MEMBER : I residents of Wise and Russell NevaBryan either over a hill or around a visibility. Make-up rather than VIROINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION '~| counties through Momingstar St Paul curve, where visibility is limited, masks should be worn to help . ..... ..... "! • ensure that children have an _rade°° u4 'emSinutt snllo°fr n Published weekly in St. Paul,i | unobstructed view of their sur- g( • "-' ..... VA 24283, bv CLINCI-i I r n " " snaring, OooktalKS, and read- ' °Ucdamgt' TrICkn't etreateitSem anYt alouds. Book based arts & crafts, L -c' -'- PU[ILISHII G] gn p , C ......... creatwe wrmng and related actl- to., IN~. t °sr tt eyay nu l ?t eyS C roeu wries Computer information The Clinch Valley Times[ always cross at comers and look activities, educational games. :serves the four-county area of both ways before crossing. Dri- Occasional films carefully Wise, Russell, Dickenson and; SOLAZO AT SPHS..Kike Rodriguez, Miguel Benitez and Janiah Allen, who hail from Chile, Argentina and Ecuador, make up Solazo, an extraordinary band now making its fifth tour of the United States. Entertaining students this week, the Pro-Art sponsored program featured a blend of Latin folk music, contemporary dance music, and soulful ballads with styles borrowed from Spain, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Ecuador.. The use of unusual Andean instruments such as the panpipe and charango add an ethnic quality" to the musical sounds. (A fourth member of the group was unable to participate in this tour.) vers need to keep a careful eye selected based on audience age. on the road and on the sidewalk, Simple snacks are included with in case anyone darts out from this group• between parked cars. Homing Around - Home Children should stay on the school children grades K-12.45 sidewalk or if none is available, minutes• Library tours, creative walk facing the lane of traffic, instruction of library and infor- and they should carry a flash- marion skills, book sharing, light• booktalk and read-alouds Com- Scott, with offices and planl located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building,: 16541 Russell Street. Perio- dicals postage is paid at the: Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. i Ann Young Gregory Editor' Homeowners should clear purer information activities. ., Allen Gregory Advertising their yards of anything that can Young Adult Programs ] Susan Trent Adv./Graphics be tripped over and be sure to Teen Scene-Ages 12-18.45 ] have a front door or walkway minutes. Book sharing, book-! ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: light on, and refrain from decor- talks, and read-alouds, book bas-[ In advance: $28.50 in Wise and ations that use an open flame ed arts & crafts, computer] Russell counties; $30.00 in other that could ignite a child's cos- information activities, Reader s] 24-zip codes;elsewhere, S32.50. tume. Theatre, educational games, oc-. More information is avail- casional films. Library volun-POSTMASTER: send address able at the website teerin . Refreshments included. www.teachers.com/safety MOTORISTS Stop for Pedestrians in the Library Crosswalk-- It's the LawI changes to: Clinch Valley Times, IP.O~ Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50c Classified Advertising: Minimum charge, $6.00 for up to :in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advertising rates on application. Periodicals publication Postal ISSN: 767600