Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 20, 1975 · Page 10
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 10

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 20, 1975
Page 10
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Page 10 article text (OCR)

!·% 20, 1975 SURGERY Medicaid Patients Likely Candidates, Study Shows Status Poll Of Women Is Proposed Socialists Ignore Threats of Foes · WASHINGTON tfi - If you are on Medicaid, a congressional staff study says, you are at least twice as likely to undergo surgery to correct a medical ailment as the ; general population. · The man in charge of state Medicaid "programs at the Department of Health, '·.Education and Welfare disputes these findings. · The study was done by the staff of the ;House commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee, which received re- · plies to a questionnaire from 26 states, in- Deluding some of the most populous. » · * THE STUDY CONCLUDES that much of the extra surgery received by Medicaid patients is unnecessary but the study does not say how much is unnecessary or why ·these people have more surgery. Last week, the subcommittee concluded :three days of hearings into unnecessary ; surgery in the United States. Claims were made by some doctors that as many as 3.2 ·million operations in the country may be .unnecessary, resulting in 16,000 deaths and costing $5 billion. -. The study on Medicaid surgery con- Eludes only that "there is a higher propor- tion of unnecessary surgery among the Medicaid population than the population as a whole." All 50 states were asked in June to provide the number of operations for the general population and under Medicaid for all surgical procedures, tonsillectomies, hysterectomies and cholecystectomies, or gall bladder operations. For all surgery, data from the 26 states replying showed there were 18,716 operations per 100,000 persons under Medicaid and 7,940 per 100,000 for the general population -- giving a rate of Medicaid surgery that was 236 per cent of the rate in the total U.S. population, the study said. Under Medicaid, states help pay for medical bills of poor people as well as elderly people. There were differences among states in the survey for the most predominant operations. For example, the study showed that Nevada, Maine and Kansas had the highest rates for Medicaid tonsillectomies, while Louisiana, North Carolina and Kansas had the highest rates for gall bladder operations. Hysterectomies were highest in Nevada, North Carolina and Louisiana. * * 4t GENERALLY, THE STUDY showed the Southern states -- especially Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama -- had the lowest rates of surgery for Medicaid patients. Dr. M. Keith Weikel, head of the Medical Services Administration for HEW, has complained to subcommittee staff that its statistical base is wrong, leading to an erroneous conclusions. But Elliot Segal, special assistant on the subcommittee, told Weikel last week the figures, provided by state Medicaid administrators, are "the best available in the United States today." He challenged Weikel to come up with HEW's statistics on the numbers of Medicaid patients undergoing surgery but Weikel said the agency doesn't collect data on surgical procedures. Weikel said that whatever data HEW could compile "might not be very good." The survey said that even though the data was incomplete, it "should be representative of all state Medicaid programs." WASHINGTON - UP) - The domestic commission to commemorate International Women's Year has ordered what may be the first nationwide poll on the status of women. The IWY Commission, which is beaded by Jill Ruckelshaus, discussed the poll and the questions to be asked during a two-day meeting Thursday and Friday. The commission has contracted with Market Opinion Research hi Detroit to help fill in some of the gaps in information about women's status in society. * * » THREE WOMEN from the polling firm told commission members that a 20-to-25 minute telephoone interview of a scientifically selected sample of 1,500 women could provide detailed information. The poll will be taken among homemakers, women who work outside or women who have career jobs, divorced women, those who support children after the breakup of a marriage, and minority women. Different questions will be asked of different categories of women. Data will be sought on how many divorced women are awarded alimony and child support and how many actually are able to collect it; on how the income of the divorced women are awarded alimony and child support and how many actually are able to collect it; Postal Service: Is Mr. Zip Zapped? By Howard Angione The Auociated Preti With difficult and drawn-out labor negotiations as a backdrop, the U.S. Postal Ser- vice is weighed down by a heavy sack of debts as it struggles unsucessfully for financial independence. Item: In the last fiscal year, the Postal - Service lost money at the rate of $2.3 mil"lion a day. But those were the good old days. Now, officials estimate that losses are $8 million a day and will only increase until postal rates can be raised. Item: Postal executives say their at- tempts to raise more money through higher rates are held up by regulatory red tape. Intertwined in the tape is a dispute · - over how to divide the burden between the :" first-class rate, which can yield more than -.$600 million per year for every one-cent increase, and other types of mail. Mean- · 'while volume for first-class, the tradition. : al moneymaker, fell slightly last year. '- Item: Postal workers are resisting ser'- vice attempts to improve the efficiency of -'mail carriers. The letter carriers' union «says the service's so-called Kokomo Plan Among the major reasons cited for the losses are the energy crisis, inflation, delays in rate increases and labor settlements. The Postal Service is going broke faster and faster as revenue from postage and subsidies trails operating expenses. The Postal Service has kept from collapsing by borrowing money -- $1 billion for operating expenses in the past 13 months -- and by dipping into cash that it received when it took over from the old Post Office Department on July 1,1971. As a result, its equity -- the difference between what it owns and what it owes -has fallen from $1.7 billion to $435 million. Postal executives say the effect of inflation is most noticeable in the salary budget which accounts for 85 per cent of the more than $1 billion that the service spends each year. An unlimited cost-of-living allowance in postal union contracts has, at six-month intervals since the fall of 1973, provided employes with one cent more per hour for each 0.4 of a point increase in the Consumer Price Index. Weekly salaries today are tested in Kokomo, Ind., and now operating designed to enable certain mailers such as in Portland, Ore. Postal officials deny that newspapers, magazines and nonprofit or- the computerized route analysis involved ganizations to adjust gradually to the full is a speed-up, and defend the plan as an at- impact of recent rate increases. These tempt to organize routes more efficiently, subsidies are to decrease gradually as the LISBORN, Portugal (AP) - More than 50,000 Socialists ignored Communist THREATS Saturday night and packed a downtown park to protest Communist influence in the country's left-wing millitary goverment. Socialist leader Mario Scares brought wave after wave of cheers as he lashed out at the Communists who he said "want to turn Portugal into a vast concentration camp." He called the Communist leaders "a bunch of paranoids" and said "from north to south the people will reject them like a human body rejecting a foreign substance." Scares made no direct mention of the Communist-back premier, Gen. Vasco Goncalves, but he was interrupted repeatedly by the throng chanting "Out with Vasco. Out with Vasco." The Socialists braved Communist warnings and checkpoints ringing Lisbon to attend the rally. * » » IT ENDED WITHOUT incident but several scuffles and a single shot fired by a soldier were reported at the checkpoints. In the northern city of Aveiro a soldier was shot and killed during a demonstration against Communist party headquarters, the Portuguese news agency ANI reported. It said soldiers used tear gas against a crowd besieging the headquarters and then fired their weapons in the air. While the Lisbon demonstrators were demanding the removal of Goncalves the ruling Revolutionary Council met in emergency session and sources said it was considering a proposal by moderate officers that the premier be replaced. Both Communist and Socialist leaders appealed to their supporters to use "all means" to defend their interests. * · » CHECKPOINTS RINGED the capital where incoming cars were searched for arms, andtrooop were on alert across the country. Low flying military helicopters is a speedup designed by computers that tnus $25.19 higher than they would have 1; don't take human factors into consideration. They say they'll stage a work stop- · page if the service doesn't eliminate it. .- Strikes by postal workers are illegal. In short, Mr. Zip has been zapped. * * * THE POSTAL SERVICE was formed in July, 1971, as the result of a hope in Con" gress that a quasiprivate business could . 'escape bureaucratic doldrums, avoid pol- Xitical patronage hangups and approach a !'break-even point by 1984. ·''' At first, revenue from postage plus the subsidies that Congress authorized to ease ·-the transition to self-sufficiency came -close to covering expenses. In fiscal 1973, ',\ the Postal Service cut its losses to just un- "'· der $13 million, down about $162 million in -its first year of existence. But in fiscal ;; 1974 losses mushroomed to $438 million. In · fiscal 1975 they nearly doubled to about $850 million. been if the cost of living had remained constant. Postal executives calculate that in fiscal 1975 the cost of living raises added $444 million beyond their original allowances for inflation. The average clerk, postman or pickup truck driver now makes about $13,500 per year at top scale, plus fringe benefits. Present union contracts covering more than 600,000 of the 700,000-member work force expire this weekend. Unions are seeking additional raises and the retention of the cost-of-living feature. They are also. intent on retaining a no-layoff clause. * * * POSTAL SERVICE attempts to eliminate or modify the no-layoff clause are part of their over-all attempts to improve productivity. Another of the attempts to improve productivity is the "Kokomo Plan," first The failure to meet some earlier productivity goals has added to the service's financial problems. Many of them involved 21 bulk mailing centers being built in strategic locations to sort fourth-class parcels and serve as transfer points for second- and third-class mail. Completion dates have been set back more than six months, to late fall and early spring, but when the centers do begin operating the Postal Service hopes that the mechanized parcel sorting equipment inside will save money. Although some critics have doubts, postal officials say they are confident that the centers will also help them improve service and regain some of the parcel business that has been lost to competitors such as United Parcel Service. Postal executives say they remain committed to productivity gains that do not reduce service, but stress that they also need more revenue. The Postal Service receives $920 million a year in subsidies designed to compensate it for "public services" such as keeping unprofitable offices open. It also receives about $600 million in subisidies difference narrows between the established rates and the amounts these organizations actually pay. Unless Congress increases all subsidies, the only hope for additional revenue is new rate increases. On the rate issue, the Postal Service is feuding with the Postal Rate Commission, an agency set up to watch over the Postal Service the way that public service commissions regulate utilities. The Postal Service says the commission is too slow -- it has not made a final decision on a September 1973 rate increase request that included the 10-cent rate for first-class. That rate has applied on a "temporary" basis since March 1974, and higher rates can't be charged until a final decision is made on the pending request. The commission contends that the major reason for its slowness is the Postal Service's bookkeeping system, which makes it difficult for outsiders to determine whether the Postal Service is spending its money efficiently. LEEDKKMSON I Y o u r A r e Invited | Free "Pop" Organ Concert* Eliminate mold, mildew, and odors with David Ashby featuring Monday July 21,1975 7:30 P.M. Gorby's Music No Admission Charge For Clothes Closets A Monday afternoon Mr. Ashby will be in our showroom to show you how to register your organ to get all the sounds the pros use. He will be here at 3:00. For Storage Rooms For Basements : a''? t1Ti6 Sun-Ray Dehumidifier 700 for I 15 oz. can Sun-Ray's principle of controlling humidity is valuable protection against clothes damage from mold, mildew, and excessive moisture. Keeps closets dry; no more mold odors. Sun- Ray Pehumidifier is easy to use. Just remove the cap and place on floor or shelf--or wherever you want immediate, effective humidity control. Sun-Ray granules will control humidity without fumes, odors, poisons, and it's harmless to children. It's effective until it dissolves. Avoid expensive damage to your valuables. Give your closets, hampers, lockers, storage rooms and basement the thorough Sun-Ray Dehumidifier protection, 744-9452 I TW MUSIC none 214 7th Avenue Stutttharleston Daly J-5 Thursday 9-8 For Bathroom* syyAY JBMIWID United Reunion Set A community reunion for all residents of the former town of United on Cabin Creek is scheduled for 10 a.m. next Sunday at Nitro City Park.. Troops were placed on alert Friday when Communists unsuccessfully tried to thwart a Socialist rally that drew 70.000 persons in oporto, Portugal's second lar- gets city. Shelling Again Hits In Angola (C) 1975 New York Time* Service LUANDA, Angola -- Mortar shells and machine-gun fire peppered the vicinity of an historic old Portuguese fort here for the third day Saturday as one black liberation movement, which hopes to lead the country to independence, tried to overwhelm soldiers of a rival organization taking refuge in the fortress. The shelling so far seemed to be inaccurate and sporadic, but it complicated efforts to restore effective coalition government in Angola by contending black political movements. Earlier this week troops of the left-wing Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola drove most of the soldiers of the anti-Communist National Front for the Liberation of Angola out of the capital city and assumed effective control of almost all of its estimated half million black inhabitants. Portuguese colonial troops protected the white population and the central business section where life was close to normal. The third Angolan black liberation movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, took almost no part in the fighting of the last four months which has killed several thousand people in Luanda. The National Union favors a political solution, through National elections, to the thorny question of who will rule Angola when Portugal grants full - independence on Nov. 11. LEEMCKIISON 100% COTTON DECORATOR BATH TOWELS Terrific opportunity for the "Do-it-yourself" home decorator who wants a change of pace in her bath and boudoir. Matching towel and area rug ensembles to brighten up the season in a choice of prints and solids. Towel ensembles are all cotton, thick and thirsty and yours in berry, maiie, blue, floral prints and checks. Bath Towel Hand Towel Wash Cloth HOUSEWARES, Third floor MATCHING BATH SETS AND AREA RUGS [Complete matching combinations for bathroom, or bedroom. Terrific selection of I rugs, contours and lid covers in co-ordinated colors. Manhattan pattern, nylon pile, I rubberized non-skid backing. Choose from white, maize, avocado or bittersweet. Reg. SAlf 121x36 3.99 2.fl 24x72 5.99 4.ff 27x48 7.99 Mt 36x54 12.99 IQ.ff 24" Contour 2.49 l.ff IlidCovtrs .« 2.49 l.f"

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