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2009’s Lie of the Year – Death Panels – is making a comeback

To The Daily Sun,

You might think that since the ACA has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, implemented, and met and exceeded its signup goals, that a made-up scare tactic like "death panels" would fade away. But it appears this "Lie of the Year" for 2009 is to be perpetuated by Ms. Landry, Mr. Demakowski and other conservatives. They are twisting themselves into knots trying to defend a myth and attempting to revive "death panels" amid weeks of good news of ACA successes. The only "death panels" I've found are those attempting to kill the ACA. 

Ms. Landry, if an insurance company refused to pay for surgery because the company's analysis showed a subscriber already too sick and believed surgery wouldn't save the life, or that an individual wouldn't be covered by insurance because of a pre-existing condition, would your friend Ph.D. Betsey McCaughey label them "death panels"? This kind of utilitarian rationing is exactly what Palin, McCaughey and other opponents of the ACA say they want to protect the country from — but it's rife with them already. Thousands of people are dropped from insurance rolls yearly for such reasons as typos on forms, pre-existing conditions or a family member's medical history — talk about your "death panels."

In honoring my request for "death panel" guidance, I researched Mr. Demakowski's suggestion of The Independent Payment Advisory Board. This is a section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act whose explicit task is to achieve specified savings in Medicare without affecting coverage or quality. I found that with regard to IPAB's recommendations, the law says, "The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums. I found nothing to indicate a "death panel."

Congressman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), referenced by Ms. Landry, is a retired physician and chairman of a House Labor and Health Subcommittee. He is considered a "kindred soul" by the medical industry, partly because he has introduced legislation to remove the IPAB provision in the ACA that is meant to rein in the growth of Medicare payments. He charges that the IPAB would deny care even though the law explicitly bars "any recommendation to ration health care." It's also interesting to note that Ms. McCaughey has strong ties to the medical industry, having served as a member of the boards of directors of medical equipment companies Genta and Cantel Medical Corporation.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions, but Ms. Landry and Mr. Demakowski have drawn conclusions that vastly exceed the implications of their evidence.

L.J. Siden

Gilmanton

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Do homework to find out how roundabouts will affect Meredith

To The Daily Sun,

On Dec. 15, the Meredith Selectboard held a workshop at the community center regarding a proposed road improvement project. The presentation was called the Meredith US 3/ NH 25 Improvements Project. The presentation was informative. What we learned is different from what was reported in The Sun. This is part one of a four-part letter.

We learned the existing traffic signals at the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 will be removed to be replaced by a roundabout which will have one lane of traffic going around three-quarters of the it and two lanes going around one-quarter. Northbound drivers will be able to make a free right hand turn along the lake in two lanes. We learned there will be three roundabouts included in the project. The other two roundy are single lane traffic circles: one at the existing intersection of Lake Street and Hwy 3/25 [that's between the fire station and the town docks]; the other at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Hwy. 25.

We learned that the roadway between the roundabouts will be a divided highway with a barrier and an island spacer. We learned the width of the single-lane roadway will be 20 feet, for each lane in each direction. We learned that the speed in the area is expected to be limited to between 15 and 18 mph year-round. We learned that no one is claiming the change will positively impact the traffic congestion in the area, though it is hoped there will be some improvement in traffic flow. We learned that heavy congestion in an area with multiple roundabouts can cause gridlock. We learned no one could tell how much heavy congestion is exactly.

My recommendation is that you do your homework on this project. The presenters stated: Construction is scheduled to take place in 2017 and 2018, which will not solve the congestion issue, which will beautify the area, but won't cost you anything. The inference is the government is giving Meredith free money which we can either take or not take. You are encouraged to go to the public hearing in Jan. 26 and find out what's going to happen to you. It would be better if you did a little homework, to lend an informed voice to the discussion.

The video can be viewed on GraniteGrok.com.

Rosemary Landry
Meredith

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