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Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, July 7, 2017

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Published July 5, 2017


Stow garbage before pickup

Will you help me with an appeal to Anchorage neighbors? Anyone who lives near the forests or mountains attracts and then habituates bears with food trash. Alaska Waste begins daily trash pickup at 8 a.m. to allow everyone to place trash bins out the day of pickup. Please, please, please keep all food trash securely in a garage, locked shed, freezer or bear-resistant trash container until the morning of pickup.

— Vicki Vermillion

Single-payer would divide us

Multiple letter and commentary writers have pushed the idea of a single-payer health system, without really explaining how the system would work.

After negotiations by special interests, here is how we see a single-payer health system working in America. Government workers, including police, firemen and politicians, the major unions and the wealthy would opt out and be on a Cadillac health care plan of their own devising. And individuals on the Cadillac plan would move to the front of the line as far as care and treatment options. And the poor would have fewer options for medical treatment. As an example, try to find a list of doctors who take Medicare that a person could choose from.

In today's society, a single-payer health care plan would further divide people. Until the political and social climate changes, we say "no" to single-payer health care.

— Faith Myers and Dorrance Collins
Mental Health Advocates

Let's not abandon the progress we've made in health care

One day, we will tell future generations of our choice. Did we help our neighbors when they were sick, or did we ignore their needs? This is the question before all Alaskans when it comes to Medicaid.

Minority, rural and underserved communities, including Alaska Natives, have been speaking out on Medicaid, asking our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., not to abandon the progress we have made toward greater health.

Our state's improvements in recent years have helped bring essential medical services to those who were not able to access them before. More residents now have access to wellness services, going for checkups, taking prescribed medications and getting screened for disease — rather than delaying care and relying on the emergency room. This is good for patients, families and communities, as well as taxpayers and our overall health care system.

Health outcomes are on an upswing, and uncompensated care at our medical facilities is declining. This is important here in Juneau, where we need to protect existing hospitals and clinics because we cannot easily travel to others. It is also vital in remote places like Klukwan, where my extended family lives, places where the loss of any medical resource can put care hundreds of miles away.

The Tlingit people teach that we must help all human beings, respecting their inherent intelligence and capabilities. Providing adequate health care and serving the underserved are ways to show that respect for all Alaskans. I hope that our elected leaders are hearing the stories shared by those who rely on Medicaid and will protect this program.

— David G Katzeek

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to

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