Iowa a place to grow Carroll Daily Times Herald Vol. 106 — No. 40 Carroll, Iowa, Thursday, February 26,1976 — Ten Pages Delivered by Carrier Each Evening for 60c Per Week Copy Looks into Physician Control FTC Probing Blue Shield Plans WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the huge Blue Shield insurance system to determine if physician control of the 72-million member program stifles competition and contributes to the dramatic,increase in health care costs for all Americans. Blue Shield now provides physician-care insurance for 40 per cent of the nation's population and pays out over $3 billion annually in doctor's fees, the FTC said. The FTC said today its nonpublic investigation will encompass all of the 71 Blue Shield plans across the nation as well as the National Association of Blue -Staff Photo Long Wait — Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Stoffers of Vista, Calif., formerly of Arcadia, are shown with a letter sent to him in 1955 by a tax examiner at Carroll. It reached him 20 years later in Washington. The lower photo is a reproduction of the envelope in which it traveled. Finally Gets Letter, Twenty Years Late By Jewel Tooley Melvin Stoffers of Vista, Calif., was 20 years and a couple of months late calling at the Carroll County court house in response to a letter from one J. K. McLennan, tax examiner. He can't really be blamed, though because the examiner's letter regarding an error in Stoffers' assessment for taxation on moneys and credits was 20 years late in reaching him. "I knew the Post Office was slow, but I didn't know it was that slow!" Stoffers told the Daily Times Herald Wednesday. He and his wife, former Arcadia residents, are visiting relatives and friends in the area until Saturday. Where was the tax 2 Die in Car Crash DENISON, Iowa (AP) — The bodies of two western Iowa men were found in a partially submerged 'auto Wednesday in a creek one mile north of here along Iowa 39. The car, which contained the bodies of Ricky Stout, 27, of Early, and Donald Williams, 26 of Manilla, apparently missed a curve, struck a bridge abutment and rolled into the creek, authorities said. • Shield Plans. Blue Shield officials said they would cooperate with the FTC investigation. They also said the investigation was not evidence of any illegality and they defended physician involvement with Blue Shield. FTC officials gave no details of the planned investigation, except to say they would study control of Blue Shield by physicians and its 'impact on competition and delivery of health-care services to all Americans. But it was learned that the agency is concerned, among other things, that the plan's large share of the physician-care business allegedly gives Blue Shield a major voice in determining the prevailing fees charged by physicians in any given community. There were indications the investigation would touch on contentions that since medical doctors themselves control the program, competition from other • health plans not administered by doctors is interfered with. Physician control of Blue Shield varies from plan to plan but physicians involved in administration of Blue Shie|d basically are determining the amounts that Blue Shield will pay them for services performed for subscribers. A three-month investigation last year by The Associated Press concluded that Blue Shield's practices encourage physicians to raise their bills. The national Blue Shield association requires local boards of directors to have a majority of "public" members representing subscribers instead of doctors. But The AP investigation found that many of these "public" members are chosen by doctors and hospitals rather than by subscribers. Government figures show that doctors' fees have risen 85 per cent in the past 10 years, compared to a 68 per cent increase in the over-all cost of living. The AP investigation concluded that the soaring medical costs resulted in part from the failure of Blue Shield to impose cost controls on physicians. It has been indicated the FTC will attempt in its probe to determine if doctors involved with Blue Shield are in a conflict-of- interest situation in setting the formulas that establish the fees they and other doctors are to be paid for their services. The FTC said, however, that the investigation of Blue Shield does not imply that there are any violations of the law and the probe could end without any action being taken by the government. Wallace Holds Key in Massachusetts examiner's letter all those years? Did it travel by turtle, or take an extended vacation somewhere? No one seems to know. When the letter was mailed from Carroll Dec. 9, 1955, it was addressed to Stoffers at Arcadia. But they had moved from there to California in June, 1953; so the letter was forwarded to an address there. And not delivered. The couple lived for a year and a half in the San Jose vicinity, then in the Anaheim and Orange County area for eight years and at Vista for 14 years. Stoffers was a trucker at Arcadia for 18 years before they moved to California. When the letter was delivered to their Vista address about nihe months ago, its journey was not over. The couple was traveling and their son, who was looking after their mail, placed the. 1955 letter in another envelope and forwarded it to them. Would you believe the letter spent-six months missing them in British Columbia, Canada and Idaho before catching up with them — finally — in Washington? Cancellations on the back of the envelope — which is in good condition — all things considered — indicate that it left Anaheim in December, 1955, and was mailed from Oceanside, Calif., last May. BOSTON N (AP) — Democrats running for president, led by newly advanced frontrunner Jimmy Carter, are turning their attention to Massachusetts and the second primary test of the election year. The Bay State primary next Tuesday involves more Democrats and less Republican activity and introduces new rules and a highly volatile issue, busing. The Democratic field in Massachusetts includes the five candidates in Tuesday's New Hamsphire primary as well as three others — Sen. Henry M. Jackson of Washington, Pennsylvania Gov. Milton J. Shapp and Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace. Carter, the former Georgia governor who polled 30 per cent of the vote to lead the field in New Hampshire, predicted Wednesday he would win, place or show in the second primary test. Following Carter in the New Hampshire voting were Rep. Morris K. Udall of Arizona, Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana, Former Oklahoma Sen. Fred Harris and Sargent Shriver, the Democratic .vice presidential candidate in 1972. The key stumbling block for Carter and the others could well be Wallace, who chose to start his primary campaign in the only state that voted Democratic in the presidential election four years ago. Wallace already has .devoted an extraordinary amou'nt of time to Massachusetts. Most others will spend a good part of the next five days here, but Carter aides say their candidate has planned a bare four hours here Letter, See Page 2 Inside Patrol wants to spend $80,000 for CB radios — Page 10. Women's news — Page 4. Editorial —PageS. Deaths, daily records, markets, late news—Page 2. Sports Tigers, Knights close regular season, Bobcats face Sac in final, LV-A, Comet rematch set; G-R, Manning meet tonight—Pages 6 and 7. — bringing his total Massachusetts time to 85 hours. Udall, whose second place finish in New Hampshire led him to declare himself the leading progress!v.e candidate, said Wednesday he believes Wallace could get 15 per cent of the vote in Massachusetts. Other estimates have been higher in the seven-way race which could be wqn with 20 or 25 per cent. President Ford is considered the heavy favorite on the Republican side in a lackluster contest with Ronald Reagan, the former California governor who took 49 per cent to Ford's 51 per cent in New Hampshire. Panel to Delay on Contempt WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaving the door open for a compromise, Rep. Bella S. Abzug says she's willing to talk to U.S. intelligence chiefs before pressing contempt action against five agents who refused to testify about government interception of private cables. The New York Democrat's , subcommittee voted contempt action Wednesday against three FBI agents, a former FBI agent and a National Security Agency employe after the five refused to testify on their roles in the cable interception program. The FBI witnesses said Atty. Gen. Edward H. Levi ordered them not to testify and the NSA employe said his orders came from Deputy Defense Secretary William P. Clements. But in explaining his position, NSA employe Joseph J. Tomba relayed an offer from NSA's director, Lt. Gen. Lew Allen, to explore ways to supply the precise information the subcommittee needs. The Justice Department later, released letters to the panel from Levi and Clements showing they had offered to let the witnesses testify if arrangements could be made to limit their testimony to avoid discussion of subjects the agencies feel are sensitive. Plan to Close Parks at Midnight Loses -Staff Photo Check for U.W.- Joe Dalhoff, president of the Carroll United Way, Inc., accepts a $1,500 check from Mrs. Nancy Siepker and Mrs. Merle (Angie) Schoeppner, Carroll General Electric campaign co-chairmen. The check is the Carroll company's corporate gift to the campaign. It is a proportion of the GE employes' donations, which amounted to $4,767. Cities, Counties Face Insurance Difficulties By Harrison Weber (Iowa Dally Press Association) DES MOINES — Some political subdivisions in Iowa may experience some difficulty in obtaining general liability insurance and workmen's compensation coverage. Hawkeye-Security Insurance Company, headquartered in Des Moines, has ceased writing such insurance for political subdivisions in 12 midwest states including Iowa. Robert D. Edison, President of Hawkeye-Security, said the company has stopped issuing new policies or renewing old ones for political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, in these two categories because of the company's loss ratio on this type of business. Although other insurance companies are still writing this type of coverage, State Insurance Commissioner William Huff, III, believes it could become a "real problem" if the trend in litiga- tion continues. "Municipal coverage has not been a very profitable line for insurance companies doing business in Iowa," he related. "I'm sure there has been an increase in law suits against municipalities under the tort claims act. The state of Iowa is self insured. There have been some rather large claims against the state and we're starting to see the same r.ise in municipal government," Huff said. "When a company cuts back on its writings, the first area that it picks are those high risk areas. I don't consider this a real crisis because we're not thin in the market, we have a number of companies writing this type of insurance as contrasted to medical malpractice practice where we have only five or six companies. If all stopped writing general liability and workmen's compensation for political subdivisions, then we would have a crisis," Hitff said. By James B. Wilson An ordinance calling for the closing of the Carroll city parks from 12-midnight to 6 a.m. failed to pass on a 3 to 3 vote at a special City Council meeting Wednesday evening. The ordinance had been recommended, by City Recreation Director Jim Egli and City Manager Arthur Gute in an effort to curb vandalism in the parks and to aid law enforcement officers in attempting to curb the vandalism. Mayor Ronald H. Schechtman voiced his support for the ordinance, but its passage failed when Councilmen Robert Kraus, Darwin Bunger and Jerald (Wes) Knauss voted no. Council members supporting the ordinance were Dr. Norman Schulz, Lou Galetich and Valerie Windschitl. The council did go on record as approving the city's participation in purchasing a new loader for use at the county landfill facility. The new machine will replace one that has been used since the facility opened. Carroll's share of the purchase will be approximately 39 per cent, with the county and the other communities in the county paying the remainder of the cost. Mayor Schechtman told the council that the landfill facility would continue to be open the first Saturday of each month so private citizens could haul refuse to the facility and said the landfill Would Benefit Aged and Handicapped ByMaryLeeHagert One of the major problems facing elderly persons in Carroll , County is the lack of an adequate 'low-cost public transportation system, a senior citizens'-, advisory committee decided at a meeting Wednesday. The Carroll County Advisory Committee of the North Central Iowa Area Agency on Aging is considering submitting a proposal to the agency for setting up a public transportation system for handicapped and elderly persons in the county. A mode of transportation discussed was the Community Opportunities, Inc. minibuses which are scheduled to arrive this summer. The committee also discussed using the Carroll Cab Co. Bob Irwin, service coordinator for the agency, stressed that the use of the minibuses or the cab company are just ideas to start people thinking about alternative means of transportation for persons 60 and older. According to the schedule, a minibus would be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bus might be used to pick up elderly persons in the county and bring them to Carrol|, Irwin said. .The biggest problem faced by the Carroll congregate meals program for older persons is' transportation, said Mrs. Mar jorie Bock, site manager. "I can't do all the transporting of the participants to and from the site and work with the people at the site, too," she said, "The use of a bus would solve a lot of problems." "Persons participating in the program are coming from Maple River, Breda, Arcadia and Halbur. But they do not come often, because older people don't like to drive that much." Mrs. Bock emphasized that if a subsidized transportation system were set up, it would strengthen the Carroll congregate meals program. According to Irwin, "the agency has some one-time federal funds available to help start transportation systems, and possibly help them during the first year." After the first year of operation, local government bodies will be expected to handle the support of the transportation system. There are other counties that.are competing for.these funds, so Carroll County needs to have a well-thought out proposal, Irwin said. The agency will provide 60 per cent of the funds to set up the system and non-federal monies will have to provide the other 40 per cent, he said. He has talked with Carroll Mayor Ronald will be open the first weekend in May during clean-up, fix-up activities. An ordinance calling for the vacation of that portion of Quint Avenue between Sixth Street and Highway 30 was passed by council. Windschitl cast the lone dissenting vote on an application by the Main Tap for a license to sell beer and liquor on Sundays. The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at 5 p.m. in the council meeting room on the second floor of the community center. At that meeting, the council will review the proposed budget for the coming year. A public hearing on that budget will be held at a later date. Republican Conclave Saturday The second step in the Republican presidential selection process will take place Saturday. The Carroll County Republican convention is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Elks' building in Carroll. Most of the 115 delegates elected at the party's precinct caucuses Jan. 19 are Convention, See Page fe Area Forecast Fair Thursday night, lows in low to mid 30s. Increasing cloudiness Friday, highs upper 40s to lower 50s. Ideas on Public Transportation System Discussed Schechtman and the county board of supervisors. Both are in favor of the transportation idea, he said. The agency has appropriated $1,500 to be divided between the Templeton, Manning and Glidden meals programs. The money Templeton receives will help strengthen its existing locally operated meals program for the elderly, he said. The money for Glidden and Manning is to provide better nutrition at the senior citizen potluck meals held once a month in both cities, Irwin said. The advisory committee's next meeting will be April 28. Spy Ship for Sale But Little Interest is Shown WASHINGTON (AP) — Unable to-find a use for the CIA's multi-million dollar Glomar Explorer, the government is trying to lease the spy ship to private industry for deep-sea mining, according to industry and government officials. But executives for two of the three corporations that government officials hoped might submit bids expressed no interest in the sophisticated vessel, which was used by the CIA to recover part of a Russian submarine from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. "It's a white elephant that just attracts attention," an executive for International Nickel Co. said of the ship, which was built under a secret agreement between the CIA and a corporation controlled by reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. "The possibilities (of leasing the Glomar) are quite minimal," said an executive for Deepsea Ventures, a Tenneco Inc., subsidiary. Marne Dubs, head of Kennecott Copper Inc.'s deep-sea mining division, was the only executive queried by a reporter who seemed interested in the Glomar, calling it "probably the most important new ocean engineering tool that's been created in recent years." Dubs added that Kennecott would make no final decision on whether to submit a bid for the Glomar until after the General Services Administration publishes bid requirements in the Federal Register. The GSA currently is custodian of the Glomar. The CIA, which is believed to have recovered only part of the sunken Soviet sub in 1974, scrubbed plans for another salvage attempt for fear of a clash with Russian vessels now patrolling the wreckage site near Hawaii. A GSA spokesman refused to confirm plans for the Glomar, but said leasing is "one of the propositions that we're kicking around." A member of an interagency task force studying Glomar said if private industry won't lease the ship, it will be put up for auction at a bargain price or sold for scrap. Either way, . an official said, "it would be a pretty small return on the dollar for the taxpayer." One alternative eyed by the task force was turning over the Glomar to a government agency such as the Interior Department's Ocean Mining Administration. But, said one official, "no federal agency wants to come up with the funds" needed to operate and maintain the Glomar.
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