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LETTERS: UMC advisory board needs doctor

To the editor:

Regarding the composition of the new University Medical Center advisory board, while the credentials of each board member are impressive within their own area of expertise, will the members who do not have a health care background be able to understand the structure and especially the functionalities of UMC?

To assist the board in understanding UMC’s operations and processes, and in making a wide variety of medical/clinical decisions, it is imperative for the Clark County Commission to include a physician (maybe retired) who is not directly associated with UMC and/or any other medical center. It is inconceivable for a large medical center not to have a physician on its board. Also, if it is board protocol for issues to be approved by a majority vote, a ninth member will be needed as possible tie-breaker.

Board members will need to be dedicated, able to think outside the box and adjust their philosophies to the ongoing changes in health care. Several members’ backgrounds are in the private sector; to succeed, they will need to apply their private knowledge/experience to the mission, established practices and culture of a public, nonprofit medical facility — not an easy task.

For example, the additional expense of providing products and services to meet growing customer demand in the private sector is eventually financed by the additional revenue from customer payments. Not so for UMC, where additional revenue customers (patients) don’t necessarily pay. Also, whereas the private sector can respond to falling revenues by shedding labor, UMC is bound by the primacy of patient care and has little or no room to drop employees.

This is going to be a tough balancing act for the new board, especially since the jury is still out on whether the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act will lead to more revenue from the newly insured young and fit, or more cost from the newly insured old and not so fit. I wish them success in this extremely difficult and challenging health care environment.



Jobless benefits

To the editor:

Jobless benefits should not be extended any further. Unemployment benefits should return to what they had been for decades. A person should receive 13 weeks and get one extension of an additional 13 weeks. That’s it. Period. That gives a person six months to find a job. That should be more than sufficient to get back to work.

However, the federal benefits allow a person to game the system for 47 weeks of unemployment benefits on the low end. That’s nearly a year, and it had been possible to get as many as 99 weeks. Come on. Those 47 weeks, plus the earlier six months already paid puts a person on the dole for about 1½ years. That’s wrong. Those who stay on unemployment for that long or more are creating a class of people who learn to budget and live with the unemployment check they have been receiving. The government is actually subsidizing a separate class of people — ones who do not want to work.

The money being paid to the unemployed is in the form of taxes paid by productive workers in this country. Why should I and other hard-working people pay to have an individual sit on their lazy butt? These chronic unemployed do not want to hold down any type of gainful employment. They look forward to their unemployment check every couple of weeks. Who needs that long to find a job? There are all kinds of jobs for anyone who really wants to work. There’s Wal-Mart, fast food, sales, convenience stores, restaurants and so on.

The problem is many people feel taking a certain job is below their station in life, so they would rather budget their living around the free handout of the unemployment check. Look at the unemployment check and food stamps. It’s a living, right? The unemployed who milk the system for years are being enabled by a government that sees nothing wrong in sending them a check.

What is needed is tough love. Cut off their access to free money, and I predict that most will go out and find a job in order to survive. Some will go to relatives and family and ask for free help, but I also predict that after a few weeks of sponging off their family, the family will tell that unemployed loafer to go out and find a job, any job.

Get a job or starve. I don’t want to pay for a person to live on free money for years when it is hard enough to support myself and my family. The feds should stop these outrageous unemployment extensions. I say the six months of free money is enough.



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