Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Voters can stop the bleeding: keeping Missouri's doctor's in Missouri

Dear editor:

A weakness in our state's legal system is dramatically affecting the quality, cost and accessibility of health care, pitching Missouri into a serious medical lawsuit crisis. Physicians are leaving the state in worrisome numbers, and new doctors will not begin careers here, choosing instead to practice in states that have enacted laws to tame runaway medial lawsuits and make liability insurance premiums more affordable.

One Nevada physician was sued after he spent an entire Saturday trying to find a neurosurgeon in the state willing to take his Medicaid patient who had fallen. Another Nevada doctor stopped doing Obstetrics after watching his liability premiums rise from $30,000 per year in 2001 to what would be $85,000 in 2004, despite no malpractice lawsuits. Barton County Hospital, Lamar, stopped doing obstetrics altogether, due to the high cost of liability insurance for its doctors.

In rural areas, the problem is especially acute. Small towns often have to work hard to recruit physicians to serve their communities. Nevada has managed to do this with 100 percent American-trained physicians, many of whom are board certified. It is unlikely that any other community in the state has such a percentage of highly trained doctors. While surrounding communities go through new doctors every few years, most Nevada physicians have stayed through to retirement. But even here a shortage is being felt. With Missouri's medical lawsuit crisis, replacing retiring doctors with similar high caliber doctors may become impossible.

When Missouri voters understand that this medical lawsuit crisis is constricting their health care, draining away good doctors and inflating costs, they need to share these opinions with elected officials and candidates for office and then vote for those who are willing to put the health of Missourians first.

For reform to be achieved, voters must make Missouri's medical lawsuit crisis a local and personal issue.

Dr. Scott Beard


Campaign ads

Dear editor:

After a recent conversation with a local candidate, we became aware of a startling fact. He explained that each candidate does not always personally control all the ads in their campaign. In fact, they usually do not even know about the ads because it is illegal for a candidate to have anything to do with an ad not paid for by their personal committee. You might ask the, how is it that the candidate has their picture in publications and not know about it. However, many pictures are taken early in the campaign by the party headquarters and can be used however the party headquarters chooses without the approval of the candidate. The individual parties can place ads without the knowledge or approval of the candidate. Unless an ad indicates that it is paid for or endorsed by a candidate, the candidate may have no control of what is said. If you have a questions about an ad, please call the candidate and find out who sponsored the ad and if the candidate approves it.

Hopefully, this will help explain some negative ads. We feel it is very important that people be aware of this information at this time.

Julie Kearbey

Diane Leininger

Sewer line issue

Dear editor:

We are writing this letter in response to the notice in the Nevada Daily Mail, Wednesday, Oct. 20. It was from the city, concerning a new sewer line to be put in at the west end of the city for a new addition. The estimated cost would be $66,178. The notice state the cost would be paid for by a supplemental construction agreement.

We live just across the street from the proposed development.

A few years ago we were wanting to see if we could hook onto the sewer. We approached the city with this proposal. They told us that we would have to be annexed into the city. We then would have to pay the entire cost of the sewer to our homes. We did this. Later if anyone at that end of town wanted to hook onto our sewer line we could charge them a fee and we could be reimbursed up to the amount we paid for putting in the line.

The city has already put in a new sewer line under the new street on Hickory that would connect to the manhole that we put in. They would have to pay for a small easement. This would run just a few yards instead of several blocks! By doing this it would save the city thousands of dollars. We could be reimbursed the money we paid for putting in the sewer line like the city told us could happen. This is a big sewer line with a large manhole and only three homes hooked on it.

Even if we did not expect to be reimbursed for our expenses, we would still question the need to spend more money than is necessary to install the sewer line to this new housing division.

Why not use the money for sewer improvements like it was intended? Why tear up new roads when you don't have to? My question then is why not just hook on?

Gary and Joyce Rodieck

Al and Mary Klotz

Don and Deanna Ness

Anna Lee Bloesser