Letters to the editor for Feb. 3

Physician assistants provide quality care

The final report of the Washington State Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Costs and Access has been released. It recommends that the public health care system be improved and that access to that system be improved.

Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine and provide health care under the supervision of a licensed physician. They are dependent practitioners who work in a variety of medical settings, providing quality care to the residents of Washington state and the rest of the country. Some physician assistants work as primary care providers with HMOs, medical groups and solo practices.

Molina Healthcare Inc. is a managed health care company which currently manages contracts for Medicaid patients in California, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and Washington. Because their reimbursements for care are generally lower than those of private insurance corporations, many private practitioners did not accept patients with Molina insurance, especially in Thurston County.

Molina does not currently recognize physician assistants as primary care providers. Those residents of Washington state who seek care from physician assistants as primary care providers are told to look elsewhere. This is a limitation of access to care for these needy patients.

Ninety percent of insurance companies doing business in Washington currently recognize physician assistants as primary care providers. It's time for the rest to follow suit. This especially applies to state entities such as Molina, CHPW-PEBB, and the Washington State Health Care Authority, which has shown some resistance to accepta nce of physician assistants in the past.

David Schoen, Olympia

Global warming is a reality

In the recent article concerning the film "An Inconvenient Truth," it's surprising to me that the Federal Way School District refuses to show it in classes because there are no adequate opposing opinions being presented.

This decision is in response to parental concerns expressed.

I find it difficult to believe that the issue of global warming needs some opposing opinions. Apparently, having oil companies admitting that they financed a disinformation campaign concerning global warming causes in order to slow legislation concerning their industry is not as well known as I thought.

I wonder what the parents would think if they knew about this?

David Laur, Olympia

Legislation would fix pay for veterans

I urge all military retirees and active duty personnel to communicate with their U.S. representative to urge cosponsorship and active support of HR 333, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Marshall. HR 333 would correct the following inequities that now exist with concurrent retirement disability pay and combat related special compensation:

- HR 333 would extend the benefits of CRDP to some 375,000 retired career veterans who are rated less than 50 percent disabled by the VA.

- HR333 would repeal the 10-year phase in of CRDP for those 183,000 retired career veterans who are rated 50 percent to 90 percent disabled.

- HR 333 would extend the benefits of CRDP at 100 percent to those 28,000 "individually unemployable" retired career veterans who are rated less than 100 percent, but who are compensated at 100 percent by the VA.

- HR 333 would extend the benefits of CRDP to 183,000 career veterans who were involuntarily retired with less than 20 years of service for medical disability.

- HR 333 would extend the benefits of CRSC as an alternative to CRDP for those untold number of career veterans whose disabilities are considered to be combat related.

Call, write, or visit Rep. Brian Baird's local office and request his support for this very important legislation.

James Wyrick, Rochester

January letter of the month

Chehalis legislator missed at meeting

Laid-off miner? HERE!

Governor Gregoire? HERE!

Sen. Swecker? HERE!

Rep. Alexander? HERE!

Commissioner of Employment Security? HERE!

Office of Community, Trade and Economic Development? HERE!

Trustees of the College? HERE!

Lewis County Commissioner Ron Averill? HERE!

Concerned citizens? HERE!

Rep./House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt? Richard DeBolt? Richard? Anyone seen Richard?

Kim Rechner, Lacey