Don’t cut payments for rehabilitation
Congress is debating several key policy issues, including legislation to prevent a nearly 30 percent reimbursement cut to physicians and other health care providers under Medicare. Part of the debate involves how to offset the costs associated with these policies so that the national budget deficit is not increased. Keeping the deficit in check is necessary, though cost offsets within the Medicare program should not disproportionately affect particular health care providers.
In this regard, I would like to express appreciation to Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, for joining more than 90 of their colleagues in the U.S. House in signing a bipartisan letter sent last week to key congressional leaders. The letter highlighted the valuable role that rehabilitation hospitals play in helping patients after a serious illness or injury and restated concerns about subjecting such hospitals to unwarranted reductions.
It also highlighted what we in the rehabilitation hospital sector have known for years: There is not a spending “growth problem” for rehabilitation hospital services in the Medicare program.
Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital
Kansas time warp
Regarding the Dec. 11 Eagle editorial on the future of Kansas: Apart from a few oases of reason, the bulk of Kansas is stuck in an earlier time.
Many Kansans have not progressed beyond the Eisenhower era. For instance, several letters to the editor have spoken at length about communism, and the recent vehement arguments against fluoridation are right out of “Dr. Strangelove.” While much of the rest of the country engages in debates more applicable to the 21st century, many Kansans are content to regurgitate John Birch Society talking points.
The time warp is not the problem. The real problem is that the bulk of state politicians have profited from it. They actively embrace prejudice and small-mindedness, which skew their priorities. This, more than any other factor, makes the state and its citizens look bad. The snipe hunt against phantom illegal voters and the costly battle against abortion rights are perfect examples.
If we wish to attract people to this state and keep the well-educated ones we have, it would behoove us to adopt a more pragmatic attitude and keep our priorities straight.