Bureaucrats in Washington should not be meddling in the patient doctor relationship. But that’s exactly what the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is doing with its recent policy that allows Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to apply step therapy to Part B benefits starting January 1. Part B covers treatments for serious conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In an effort to reduce costs, step therapy (AKA “fail first”) forces patients to undergo cheaper, less effective treatment first and prohibits them from moving on to a more effective option until their insurer’s preferred treatment has failed. Patients should not be forced to watch their health deteriorate because their MA plan is making them undergo ineffective treatment.
Living with Type 1 diabetes, my quality of life depends on ready access to the most effective, physician-prescribed therapies. All patients deserve this access. CMS must add safeguards to this policy to ensure cost containment does not come at the cost of patient care.
— Scott Pollack, Lawrenceville
Trophy hunting in New Jersey
Trophy hunting is opposed by the majority of new jersey residents, but as predicted by many, the 2018 NJ trophy hunt of our bears is well underway. Why? We could blame the NRA. We could blame the slick politicking of Governor Murphy when he pandered to animal advocates by promising a moratorium (not a ban) on the hunt. Like many hunters do, we could even blame the bears for their audacity to exist as they have for millennia. But the blame for the continuance of this obscene activity lies on our shoulders, because we have participated in a society that inevitably leads to this exact perversion.
We need to begin seeing our role as stewards of the environment and it’s creatures, rather than as chosen beings here to take whatever is available. We are the smartest, the most innovative and capable, yes. So what should we do with that power? Should we be kind, or cruel? Extract every drop or foster growth? We all know the answer to these questions, even the hunters do on some level, yet we all communicate the opposite with our actions.
Americans engage in activities that, if engaged in by everyone on the planet, would lead to near immediate disaster, yet we seldom bother to look upstream from our decisions. We’re against a new copper mine in alaska but we buy every new gadget filled with copper wire. We’re against fracking and the fossil fuel industry’s power and influence, but we drive to work every day on our SUV’s and come home to our gas fireplaces.
And we claim to be against the bear hunt. But we show with what we eat, what we wear, how we live, that animals have no significance to us. We fail to see individuals and instead see a resource to be extracted for the pleasure of the sick or a nuisance to be eliminated for the selfish. As long as we display the sense of extreme entitlement that has become ingrained as habit, our trees, our air, our rivers and yes, our bears will suffer.
I encourage everyone to consider those non-human beings around us each day. They deserve to be here just as we do, more so in some cases. If we all lived the compassionate life we know we should, the bear hunt could never exist.
— Jay Saleh
Source : https://www.trentonian.com/news/local/letters-to-the-editor-bureaucrats-get-out-of-healthcare-trophy/article_198f17ce-fccb-11e8-b04b-375fd61c68c8.html