Patients depend on dialysis funding
I had the pleasure of visiting Capitol Hill last month to talk with members of Congress about an issue that is critical to the survival of hundreds of thousands of dialysis patients across the country: potential funding cuts to Medicare’s kidney care program. Patients who depend on the successful 40-year-old Medicare end stage renal disease program joined me.
Since 1972, dialysis patients have been protected by the program. However, a new regulation proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would endanger access to care for recipients of this benefit. The proposal would reduce reimbursements for dialysis by nearly 10 percent, which would be less than it costs to provide care.
In my meeting with staff of Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, I raised concerns about the proposed cuts and what they would mean for my dialysis care. I also raised awareness of kidney disease and the role Medicare plays in providing my life-sustaining treatment and that of some 2,800 dialysis patients in Kansas.
I appreciated the opportunity to share these concerns with Pompeo’s staff and want to thank him for signing a letter that expressed concern about these cuts. I hope readers feel compelled to contact Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran to ask for their support as well.
WHITNEY H. BLAKE
Northeast Wichita Dialysis Center
KanCare worked well
There have been many criticisms of KanCare in The Eagle during the past several months. Though I can’t address the concerns of disabled individuals, I can address how it is working for the elderly, as my 85-year-old mother depended upon it. As she had dementia among other ills, I was the one who managed her care.
I have nothing but positive comments regarding my mom’s transition to KanCare and in her case UnitedHealthcare, which was the insurance company assigned to her. The company’s caseworkers were unfailingly helpful and caring. They followed up frequently without prompting to see how she was doing. When her dementia worsened and my mom needed more home- and community-based service hours, they approved them readily and fairly. They were always available should questions or concerns arise, and they had more than several good sugges-tions that improved my mom’s quality of care.
Mom passed away the week before last from an aneurysm, but I am thankful for the services she got from numerous agencies, including UnitedHealthcare, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, and the Area Agency on Aging. The KanCare transition and services worked well for her.
Source of friction
The controversy over evolution that embroils the Kansas State Board of Education must be amazing to the public (“Lawsuit filed in Kansas to block science standards,” Sept. 27 Local & State). I would like to give a little clarification to those who might not be aware of the political controversy of evolution.
Evolution is the only court-imposed science in the United States. Beginning in 1947 with the U.S. Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education and since then, evolution has been continually supported by the courts. The lack of evidence for evolution and the evidence developed for the Bible’s creation account will be an area of strife between the government and Christianity.
Evolution is the only U.S. government-financed and -supported “belief system” (religion). The federal government began a financing campaign to implement evolution in the schools in 1959.
Evolution is the only “science” mandated by the Common Core standards to be taught as a fact. There is no direct mandate to teach the other sciences as fact, and that is because the observable evidence supports them.
Both evolution and biblical creation are “historical science” and not observational science. There is more evidence supporting biblical creation than evolution, but the government’s support for evolution will always create a source of friction.
JAMES W. KILPATRICK Jr.
Stay and cheer
I attended the Prairie Fire Marathon to cheer for the runners. I was so dismayed when five hours and 45 minutes into the marathon, workers began tearing down the barriers and banners at the finish, the music stopped, and the announcer was no longer calling out the names of the finishers as they came in. What a letdown for a runner to get to the finish line where you feel you aren’t welcome.
A handful of people stayed to cheer, but the marathon organizers had turned off the party.
The person who crossed the finish at six hours paid the same fee as the person who crossed at three hours. The six-hour finisher has worked just as hard – maybe harder – and is probably a first-timer. We should be making this a special event and encouraging these runners to do the marathon again next year. I don’t believe a non-welcoming, torn-down finish area does that.
I realize there has to be an end time for the marathon, but I hope next year they will keep the finish line open until at least the six-hour mark.