Regarding John L. Smith’s column on the Nevada State Veterans Home (“Lawsuit puts spotlight on veterans’ care,” Saturday Review-Journal), I am unable to discuss the pending litigation, but I am able to address other issues raised in the commentary.
The Veterans Home is more than sufficiently funded, with a reserve of $2 million to continually maintain and improve infrastructure and resident comforts on an ongoing basis. The Veterans Home is the only Nevada home that undergoes annual inspections by two federal regulatory agencies. In November, the Veterans Home received a five-star rating in overall and quality measures, the highest rating given by Nursing Home Compare, which assesses quality care information on 15,000 nationwide Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes across America.
That above-average rating is earned by having an above-average staff-to-patient ratio, which further ensures ongoing quality of care of veterans, spouses and Gold Star parents. The rating was the latest of numerous quality awards in the past three years. The Veterans Home is one of only four skilled nursing homes of the 54 statewide that received a quality award from HealthInsight during the Nevada Health Care Association Convention.
The Veterans Home, built in 2002, has no record of being investigated by the attorney general’s office for “deficiencies and regulatory failures,” as Mr. Smith’s column alleged. Nevada has an estimated 228,000 to 300,000 veterans, not 350,000, as stated in the column. This special population, nationwide and here, is not growing, but rather aging; that’s why the State is experiencing increased demand for beds.
Every day, I thank Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Legislature for their leadership in allocating a matching grant of $14 million to help fund the building of a second veterans home in Reno. Every one of our trained staff professionals is committed to providing the finest care every day to all of our residents.
— The author is administrator of the Nevada State Veterans Home.
Net metering rate
David Noble says rooftop solar customers will see rate increases of $1.68 per month this year, on average (“PUC official: Keep new rate in place,” Jan. 12 Review-Journal). Mr. Noble cannot do math or isn’t telling the truth. The past few weeks have convinced me it’s probably both.
How can Commissioner Noble try to sell such nonsense when my meter charge alone has gone up from the $12.75 that everyone else is paying to $17.90, a 40 percent increase each month? Apparently, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s appointee thinks the general public is ignorant.
Subsidies for solar
In all the letters I have read regarding NV Energy’s net metering rates, the common thread is subsidizing solar. What’s all the uproar about? Doesn’t the government subsidize Big Oil, ethanol (corn), and land lines and cellphones for the poor?
If you pay attention to the fees section of your utility bill, you will see how this is happening. If you can’t understand who is benefiting from all these fees, contact the various companies and ask.
Hasn’t oil been subsidized for almost 100 years? Does Big Oil need that subsidy, even though it profits in the billions? Why should solar be any different? What it boils down to is that NV Energy doesn’t want its profit margin to decrease, and with more customers who have solar, there will be less demand on the grid.
Gov. Brian Sandoval should be appointing ordinary citizens to Public Utilities Commission. The agency is supposed to advocate for the public, not NV Energy. As a nonsolar ratepayer, I don’t feel I’m subsidizing solar. I see it as a decrease in demand, therefore rates should decrease. Lower rates for ratepayers and a smaller carbon footprint are a win-win for everyone.