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Thanks Gilford, for your affirmation of the value of LRPA TV

To The Daily Sun,
Thank you to the Gilford Selectboard for its continuing support of Lakes Region Public Access TV. LRPA offers an inside look at local leadership in action, provides a community calendar, showcases our children's performances, highlights the work of United Way, the Humane Society and other service organizations. It allows folks unable to attend religious services the opportunity to stay in touch with their church. On a personal note, I am grateful for content that enlightens and encourages — programs like Amazing Facts and Hope Sabbath School.
Good job LRPA. And thanks Gilford for your affirmation of this valuable community resource.
Linda Griffin

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 06:25

Hits: 331

Medicaid hikes health care usage & costs without better results

To The Daily Sun,
Every adult should realize that few things are as expensive as "free" federal government programs. Nevertheless, special interest groups and politicians with an agenda are claiming that the Medicaid expansion program is "free" because the feds pay 100 percent for three years, then 90 percent until 2020. After that, of course, New Hampshire taxpayers will have to come up with at least $50 million annually.
Something isn't free when the federal government pays for it, the money still comes from taxpayers. Even if you don't pay taxes, government causes price inflation, which hurts everyone, and low returns for people depending on bond income.
If the people of N.H. wanted something like the Medicaid expansion, why haven't they demanded it from their N.H. legislators? (We could deliver it more inexpensively, tailored for N.H., and without federal government overhead and requirements.) But not even the Democrats, who now want this more expensive Medicaid expansion, passed such a program when they controlled the N.H. Legislature and the governorship. The Medicaid expansion program is just a way to bribe states into enacting expensive programs wanted by Washington and special interest groups but not by the citizens.
Every government program is particularly expensive for New Hampshire citizens as our state receives back from the federal government a smaller percent of our tax dollars than 46 other states. This means that New Hampshire taxpayers subsidize the taxpayers of 46 other states for each such program. (Thus N.H. Senators and Congressmen should oppose every program that states or citizens could do for themselves or is not essential.)
Medicaid provides insurance and higher costs, but not better medical outcomes. The Oregon Medicaid study shows that Medicaid increases costs and health care usage, but patient health care results overall are no better than mixed compared to no insurance. A Virginia Medicaid study shows cancer patients without insurance survive at a greater rate than those with Medicaid. Many doctors won't accept Medicaid patients; some would rather treat them for free!
Thankfully, Republicans in the N.H. Senate didn't approve the Medicaid Expansion requested by Governor Hassan, the Democrat-controlled N.H. House, and special interest groups. N.H. doesn't need to implement a costly federal version of a program that we could have implemented for ourselves had our legislators felt the need. And, N.H. certainly doesn't need to implement an expensive program that doesn't improve its citizens' medical results.
Don Ewing

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:19

Hits: 352

Commissioners & staff have the answers, you just have to ask

To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this response to Rep. Herb Vadney, who wrote a letter in this paper on where he felt he had to jump in, I guess, to answer for the four representatives who voted against accepting $414,044 from Medicare for short term care given and needed by our senior residents in Belknap County. The care itself will cost $200,000, so in effect, the Belknap County Nursing home will take in an extra $214,044.
Rep. Vadney posed a number of questions and rather than rely on my memory from the meetings I have attended I asked the county administrator for the facts so that I could answer them.
Rep. Vadney stated, "That profit alone tells an incomplete tale." He asked "should the County Nursing Home be a profit center? Should the 18 state reps encourage the county commissioners to actively pursue Medicare short term rehabilitation folks and thereby compete with marketplace providers?"
The County Nursing Home costs the Belknap County taxpayers approximately $2.5 million per year. An additional $214,000 in revenue will not make it profitable. Our taxes will be reduced by that amount but that is a long way from profit. The county's goal is to cover the costs of the services they provide.
There's no need for the county commissioners to actively pursue Medicare patients, the county administrator's office will inform the local hospitals that the Belknap Nursing home is now an option for their patients.
The reason for the request for the additional $200,000 is because these therapy services cost more than what was originally budgeted. These are not staffing costs. They are being asked to provide more short-term therapy than they have in the recent past. When that money is gone they will not be able to provide these services except to their long-term care residents.
I have attended many of the County Convention meetings and have found that almost every time the representatives/delegation has asked questions of the commissioners, the administrator, and /or her staff, they have had the answers for them.
I would suggest to you, and all the delegation members, as well as the public, to call or email the county administrator's office with any questions or concerns; they are very responsive and informative.
And lastly, Rep. Vadney, I'd like to ask you not to put words in my mouth by insinuating as you did by saying: "Ms. Trombi seems to believe that when these four Belknap County representatives voted against additional nursing home funding of $200,000 they did so out of either pure meanness, total stupidity or both." Those were your words, not mine.
Paula Trombi

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:14

Hits: 391

Sanbornton Bay Association yard sale will be held Sat. June 22

To the editor,
Sanbornton Bay Association will be offering some entertainment this summer!
On Saturday, June 22, there will be a yard sale offering some wonderful treasures. The yard sale will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Leighton Farm, located at 386 Lower Bay Road, Sanbornton.
In addition to the yard sale, there will be the annual Boat Parade held on Saturday, July 6. The theme this year is "Your Favorite State". Boaters will meet at Pot Island and proceed on the west shoreline. Decorating your boats will be your way of winning a great prize.
Hope to see you this summer!
Barb Bormes

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:04

Hits: 310

Process used to propose unnecessary prison project was flawed

To The Daily Sun,
In a recent letter to the editor, Greg Knytych called for openness on the part of the county commissioners. Because of it immense costs of construction and in additional staffing, I can think of no more urgent need for candor than in the proposed new prison for Belknap County. The capital budget for the entire state is one hundred and twenty-five million dollars. This one project in a county with 5 percent of the state's
population has a proposed cost of over one-third of the budget for the entire state and all of its proposed projects.
Over the past several years, the commissioners have overseen huge increases in administrative costs. The run-up in the level of bureaucracy
was obscured by a "stimulus" whose chief legacy was increased national debt while the local private sector was left with nothing of utility. Increased and unnecessary staffing in the county was scaled back when the federal dollars were shut off and we are told that an efficient county administration is the cause of the reduction in the workforce. Of course, the staff employed should not have been added in the first instance but our very expensive personal, financial and administrative heads remain.
Some federal (stimulus) funds were used to improve the mechanical systems at the courthouse and this did make sense. Similar improvements
at the county jail would also have made sense but that would have run contrary to the commissioners' plans for an ultra-expensive new prison
and the 30 new staff that will be needed if it is built.
It is instructive to understand how this plan has been developed. Despite a huge fund balance, the last convention decided to appropriate an additional one hundred and sixty thousand dollars to hire New York City based consultants. At a time when many states have decided to close prisons rather than to open more of them, no public input into the decision making process was allowed. To have the consulting firm explain what has been decided is not at all adequate when the process itself was never open to either the public or to the delegates to the Belknap Convention.
"If you build it they will come" applies not only to the Field of Dreams but also to prisons. An outer limit to prison population escapes definition and
instead wiser jurisdictions than Belknap County have moved to community-based probation and parole which is the counterpart to community-based policing. The United States has far and away the greatest number of people incarcerated in comparison to other countries. Percentage wise, only Russia approaches our number and it is a distant second. Our fivefold increase in prisoners over the last 20 years is not driven by recidivism but rather by parole and probation violations. It is apparent that we need a new strategy to deal with this problem.
The process used to propose this unnecessary prison project was deeply flawed and its estimated annual carrying costs of over five million dollars
is unwarranted. In a county of diminishing economic opportunity, the answer to providing more and better jobs does not lie in creating more
government spending. Any expansion of government should be oriented to providing training for private sector jobs and not to funding the expansion of our county fiefdom.
Rep. Dick Burchell
Belknap 5

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 10:54

Hits: 351

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