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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 02, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Insurance confounds physician, father

As health costs continue to rise, so do premiums and, in conjunction, so does the insurance industry's need to deny, deny, deny. There are now positions in these companies where the sole purpose is to deny claims to preserve profitability.

I am a physician who sees the good, bad, and the ugly of our medical system: the constant hoops we as physicians and patients must jump through for payment, the ever-decreasing reimbursements and the shrinking field of insurance companies. That being said, we have a great health care system here in America. Have you ever tried to get a hip replacement in Canada?

I was blessed with a daughter about 6 months ago. Prior to her birth, she was diagnosed with a rare growth abnormality we knew would need further attention at about a year of life.

Our wonderful pediatrician referred us to a specialist in Indianapolis who deals with these regularly, a specialist who is in our insurance company's network. He said the growth would need to be removed. We could do it in Indianapolis, where our surgeons maybe have done this once or twice in their careers, or we can send you to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where they are the best in the country and do this routinely.

Obviously, we chose Cincinnati Children's. Fast forward six months: After multiple letters, phone calls and physician-to-physician pleas, we are still at the point that our insurance company continues to deny us coverage, saying, “The procedure is covered by your in-network surgeons in Indianapolis.” Basically, a parent has the opportunity to give their child some of the best health care in the country; however, they are not in network, so you have to settle for giving your child subpar care.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around this with a few different hats. As a physician, when I refer patients, I send them where I believe they can get the best care. I don't deal with insurance companies too often in my practice; I help the patients and give them the best care that I can. It doesn't make sense to me that just because a company doesn't have a contract with a certain hospital, they wouldn't pay for it.

As a father, this is incomprehensible. Can you imagine sacrificing your child's health because an associate in charge of claims, with no medical background, sitting at a desk with an algorithm in front of them, says no.

I just can't understand it. What is the right thing to do? What would you do?

Dr. Jonathan Steinhofer

Fort Wayne 

Debates give voters chance to compare

I am responding to W. Patrick Sefton's Aug. 15 letter. He indicates that Rep. Jim Banks is giving Courtney Tritch a break by not debating her and that if Banks does choose to debate her, he will expose Tritch's extreme views and confirm his position as front runner.

I do not believe Tritch has asked Banks to give her this break.

If Banks wants to give his constituents a break, he should schedule debates now, as many and as soon as possible. If he exposes Tritch's positions as not those of the voters, they will vote for him in November. On the other hand, if he displays values and positions that are incompatible with his voters' beliefs, they may vote for Tritch. Most importantly, after Banks and Tritch debate, voters will be able to make informed and thoughtful choices.

As a voter who wants to be informed, I believe it is time to schedule debates and to allow 3rd District voters to compare positions of their two candidates.

Mary Shear

Fort Wayne

Congress needs to quit enabling Trump

What does it take to get the Senate, House and media to demand cleaning up the politics in Washington?

The situation concerning our president is alarming to most of the United States citizenry. It is clear to the people that Donald Trump is an obstructing, lying and out-of-control fool who will do anything to obstruct people from hearing the truth. The recent revelation about his involvement in the payoff of his sexual partners is a clear violation of the campaign laws, and he lied about it.

What are our politicians going to do about this? It's no longer a Democrat or Republican issue; it concerns the future of the United States. It's time that we forget our party affiliation and do what's correct for our country.

Trump could start a war to obfuscate his current dilemma or pull some other trick to throw attention off the current situation.

Do your job, Congress, or we will replace you with people who will.

Marvin Lahr

Fort Wayne

CHEERS to Ambassador Enterprises for volunteering to spruce up The League during the United Way Day of Caring. The Ambassador Enterprises volunteers worked tirelessly to paint, wash windows and even provided the entire League staff a wonderful lunch! Thank you for giving so much of your valuable time to The League.

David A. Nelson

President/CEO, The League

Unhealthy approach by Huntington

It has been reported that Vincent Haupert,  former vice president of advancement at Huntington University, has been charged with a misdemeanor count of sexual assault on a male student.

As an incoming freshman in 2004, I was expected to sign a “Community Life Agreement” to be a part of the university. It states this in regard to sexuality: “The Bible clearly calls Christians to maintain high standards of sexual purity. Sexual relations are reserved for the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.”

There was a small homosexual community when I was a student. In hindsight, it was most likely much larger and has only continued to grow into a slightly more vocal community over the past 14 years. While I would hope the administration was aware of this part of campus culture, it was never addressed beyond the agreement we all had to sign.

It is because of this silence that I believe that the administration and board of trustees would be just as responsible for this alleged sexual assault as Haupert.

To quote Martin Luther King: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Until Huntington University begins to speak out and choose to listen to and support its students and staff and engage in dialogue about healthy expressions of sexuality, regardless of gender preferences, they will be just continuing a culture of silence and guilt where people have to hide in the shadows and be driven to dark, inexcusable actions.

I encourage fellow alumni, current students and staff, as well as the overall community of Huntington, to hold the administration and board of trustees accountable by asking them to reflect on the role they have played.

Mathew Kendig

Huntington

Editorial reflected nation's ideals

Thanks to The Journal Gazette for the editorial of Aug. 16 (“Watchdogs – not attack dogs”) joining more than 200 newspapers nationally in defending the journalists, newspapers and broadcast operations who try to report the news accurately against accusations of “fake news,” “enemy of the people”, etc.

This is what my father, a World War II army veteran (778th Armored Tank Battalion) fought for.

Vickie (Westrich) Keaney

Fort Wayne