Open Letter To Byron

Letters to the editor

January 19, 1992

From: Marilynn J. Phillips

Robert B. Winans

Hampstead

It is our intention to attend the forthcoming meeting at Hagerstown Junior College -- assuming that the facility is wheelchair accessible, including an accessible auditorium and wheelchair-accessible bathroom facilities.

However, we also strongly encourageyou to hold several Health Care Town Meetings throughout the 6th congressional district, given the number of citizens who are precluded from attending -- because of distance -- the town meeting in Hagerstown.

Indeed, many persons with disabilities for whom this meeting iscritical will be unable to attend due to transportation difficulties.

We wish also to submit to you, in writing, our position on health-care reform. Although only one of us currently is disabled, both ofus are realists who understand that disability is a moment away for any individual.

Therefore, ours is a disability perspective on health-care reform, in agreement with that proposed by 35 national organizations in the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

This consortium endorses five major principles, as follows:

* We expect health reform to ensure non-discrimination. That is, people with disabilities of all ages and their families must have access to health care which prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions; prohibits ratingpractices that discriminate against higher users of health care; ensures that all persons, regardless of income or health status, have access to all needed health-related services; and ensures continuity and portability of coverage.

* We expect health reform to ensure comprehensiveness. That is, in addition to acute-care hospital and physician services, comprehensive health-related services should include preventive services, including services to prevent worsening of a disability; health promotion and education services; diagnostic services;long- and short-term home- and community-based services; prescription drugs, biologicals and medical foods; mental health and counseling services; rehabilitation services, including audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, speech-language pathology services, cognitive, vision and behavioral therapies, and therapeutic recreation; personal assistance services and independent livingservices; and durable medical equipment and other assistive devices,equipment and related services.

* We expect health reform to ensure appropriateness of services. That is, services must be provided topersons with disabilities on the basis of individual need, preference and choice, which ensures consumer choice in relation to services and provider; ensures a range of service settings through an integrated delivery system; ensures appropriate amount, scope and duration of services; and ensures the availability of trained personnel.

* We expect health reform to ensure equity. That is, people with disabilities and their families must be ensured equitable participation in thenation's health-care system and not be burdened with disproportionate costs.

An equitable system limits out-of-pocket expenses and cost-sharing requirements for participants; provides access to services based on health-care need, not income level or employment status; andensures adequate reimbursement for service.

* We expect health reform to ensure efficiency. That is, the health-care system should provide maximum appropriate effective quality services with minimum administrative waste.

An efficient system reduces administrative complexity and minimizes administrative costs; allocates resources in a more balanced way between preventive services, acute care, rehabilitation and chronic care management; maintains effective cost controls so that all people can get the health care services which they need.

An equitable health-care system ensures not only a continuation of a good quality of life for all citizens but also the continuation of the productivity of all citizens.

As taxpayers, we endorse the abovefive principles proposed by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

BUSINESSES HELP TROOP

From: Doug Ward

Venture Group

Crew Chief

Roland Backhaus

Sr. Patrol Leader

John J. Rush Sr.

Scoutmaster

Boy Scout Troop 381

Westminster

Boy Scout Troop 381, Westminster, sponsored by the First United Presbyterian Church of Westminster, has just completed its most successful orange and grapefruit sale ever.

The Scouts, with their parents' assistance, made deliveries all over Carroll County, from Mount Airy to Millers and from Liberty Dam to Detour.

We would like to thank everyone fortheir assistance that made this citrus sale such a success for the 381 Scouts. One box, or 50, every order was important to the success.

We would also like to thank the many businesses who helped us sellthe fruit or supported us by buying in quantity.

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