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Sun Herald from Biloxi, Mississippi • Page 6
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Sun Herald from Biloxi, Mississippi • Page 6

Sun Heraldi
Biloxi, Mississippi
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i HMOs and insurers will squeeze and skimp on quality care until they do some real damage to real people baby deliveries offer a peek at health future wwww JOAN BECK and newborns from the hospital quickly the better to save money for HMOs and insurers In many western states already standard to allow new moms and babies to stay only 12 to 24 hours or less after birth the journal reports Among the concerns about are the physiologic changes both new mothers and newborns experience on the second and third days after birth Pediatrics magazine says Feeding routines are usually not well established in the first 24 hours Neonatal cardiac and gastrointestinal problems usually evident for a day or two after birth Neonatal jaundice is most easily detected about the third day Most of the few studies about the hazards of early discharge are scientifically flawed says Pediatrics But several do show increases in problems even with careful screening and early follow-up The hazards of early discharge are especially great for low-income mothers and infants many of whom return for required checkups within 48 hours of leaving the hospital critically important for the health of mothers and babies is not standardized rules but clinical judgment concludes a report by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration opinion is shoved nsido But clinical judgment is exactly being pushed aside by the new managed-care rules about how long mothers and babies can stay in the hospital after birth and how much follow-up care they get Objections to the arbitrary early discharge of moms and babies have become increasingly involved in health care How much and what kind of medical care we get will become less 'a matter of physician judgment than political concerns bureaucratic red tape and the financial need to make profits for the stockholders and executives of HMOs and insurance companies Now as new Medicare legislation moves toward final passage Congress is ready to turn over millions of the elderly to the tender mercies of the managed-care cost-cutters How profitable for them How worrisome for seniors and their families 1 Nationally recognized author Joan Beck writes for the Chicago Tribune 435 Michigan Ave Chicago IL 60611 plications because of early discharge But not HMOs that will be paying for the lifetime of institutional care for victims of undiagnosed PKU Is this the future of health care? really scary is that drive-by deliveries may be an early warning of the future of managed health care in the United States HMOs and insurers will keep on squeezing money out of physicians and hospitals by skimping on quality care until they do some real damage to real people and to what has been the best medical care So concerned people and health associations will demand new protective laws as they are doing with drive-by deliveries Politicians will CHICAGO TR is a nasty I S' genetic disease Its victims are severely retarded They are also hyperactive agitated destructive violent almost impossible for even the most devoted families to care for at home lift one of the great medical triumphs of recent decades scientists discovered how to detect infants who have the metabolic defect that causes tins terrible disorder (parents carry a recessive gene and have no signs of the disease themselves) Adjusting the diet of afflicted children starting in early infancy can prevent the severe brain damage But now PKU may become a new cautionary tale an early warning that the cost cutting of health management organizations and insurers may undermine what is for now the best medical care in the world 'The problem is this: The screening test for PKU using a drop of blood from a heel is most reliable when given 24 hours after a baby has been fed protein usually the second or third day after birth Undiagnosed and untreated babies With PKU will seem normal for months until the accumulating irreversible brain damage becomes evident in their behavior Hundreds of babies were saved -So successful and easy is PKU screening that all states now require it' In 1991 for example 4226693 tests were done 333 confirmed cases were found 333 individuals who were saved from devastating mental retardation in one year alone 1-Now the worrisome efforts of HMOs and health insurers to push mothers and newborns out of the hos- record is proof of commitment One of the priorities of presently day society is the opportunity to receive a quality education As a retired Harrison County teacher I- this writer has experienced many educational improvements in the -Estate of Mississippi Mississippi needs to strive for even greater Accomplishments in education Sen Clyde Woodfield has had a significant part in bringing about these positive changes His commitment to education will promote future educational advancements inMississippL Sen Woodfield has been an avid supporter of public education at all levels He has voted in favor of every bill funding public education in addition to voting in favor of every salary increase for teachers Sen legislative work helped to bring the educational television system to Mississqjpi and The University of Southern Mississippi to the Gulf Park campus Sen Woodfield has also made significant contributions in the fields of mental health public health and safety crime and economic development He is presently serving as chairman of the Senate Business and Financial Institutions Committee He also serves on several other committees one of which is the Oversight Committee of the Public Employees Retirement System One of their duties includes overseeing the investment jof public retirement funds In addition to his legislative work Sen Woodfield and his wife Sharon have made many personal contributions in areas of service to local government church school and community This writer dedicated her life to education She wants a senator who shares this same dedication to advancement Sen Clyde Woodfield is that choice CHRISTINE LEE Perkinston Chicago Tribune pital in 24 hours or less are threatening to disrupt PKU testing and essential screening for several other severe genetic disorders Screening tests are often inaccurate if they are done too soon after birth But many of the hospitals which send newborns home within 24 hours of birth screen them too early anyway After discharge half didnt return Supposedly the problem can be solved by telling mothers to bring their babies back to the hospital in a day or two for testing or sending a visiting nurse to the home to get the blood sample or retesting the infants later But this working well enough In Massachusetts last year for example half of the newborns who were sent home before they had been screened were never tested every state the newborn screening program is wrote Dr Seymour Charles and Dr Barry Prystowsky in the current issue of Pediatrics "This disruption of the national newborn screening program is a genuine health crisis that will affect many innocent Pediatrics magazine this month is full of medical concern about the growing trend to discharge mothers Grandchildren deserve a positive role model Marathon debates between Fordice and Molpus will not change the fact that the state sales tax law -in this state is obsolete and unfair Something only the Legislature can change Gov Fordice keeps fighting on our behalf for any tax relief the Democrat-controlled Legislature may deem you and I worthy of receiving Last session Democrats made sure no tax cut bill was even voted on Since letter-writer Stuart Colie believes the 1992 tax increase public education perhaps he can explain something to me The Democrats got their sales tax the Democrats spelled out exactly what part of that money could be spent on salaries technology classroom supplies and administrative paperwork The Democrats control public education So why is Democratic candidate Molpus holding Republican Fordice responsible? "It it fit you must acquit Quit blaming Fordice for what the legislative Democrats have done with the education monies As far as those deliberately misleading TV ads: my grandchildren are the future of this state They deserve a positive role model Gov Fordice BETSY WINEKI Biloxi Fordice is an affront to Southern gentlemen Good manners and courtliness were always the mark of a Southern gentleman but apparently our governor Kirk Fordice has little of these virtues After his appalling conduct at the debate with Molpus during the Neshoba County Fair he has followed up with an even more disgusting display by making fun of wife In an earlier already been raised without result by many national and state medical groups including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Now efforts are being made to pass state and federal laws requiring a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours for mothers and newborns (96 hours for women who have Caesarean sections) New Jersey has already passed such legislation Advocates of managed as a free-market answer to the nation's health-care costs brush off such concerns They say the system will self-correct if HMOs and insurers have to pay to rehospitalize enough mothers and babies who suffer com 01995 Ititiuns Msdu Swvicm (w Ml Rights RacarvacL it belongs to the parents Fordice is a proven leader businessman and caring governor who continuously brings pride to Mississippi A man who stands on his own Vote for Fordice MARLENA HEMPHILL Ocean Springs Must budgets balance on backs of the poor? A small contractee who volunteered in World War and whose family member in 1958 gave his life in the Marine landing in Lebanon wants to know Why does our high-up contractor in Jackson want to ease the tax burden (income taxes) on us the few who are better off but not on the many who are poor via sales taxes? I am grateful to our higher-up contractors in Washington for their age no Southern gentleman would do such a thing without expecting a challenge to a duel After four years in office Fordice has shown himself to be no Southern gentleman Rather he is a backwoods uneducated bumpkin who is an embarrassment to this great state ami should be removed from office forthwith Please vote for Dick Mofeus for governor BRIAN HINMAN Gulfport We are not impressed by whiny plea read with interest many letters concerning our race and now my turn This race is not just about education as Molpus has made it We are not impressed by Sally pathetic whiny rehearsed plea supporting her husband How sickening! Let speak for himself a big boy now! has been secretary of state since 1984 and has done nothing but shoot off his mouth with rude and sordid remarks desperate and embarrassing Kirk Fordice does care about education (sorry Sally) but also about things a governor needs to care about (Le economy health welfare reforms public image jobs business devel- opment bringing Mississippi up from No 50) Fordice brought in 112 000 jobs during his term and more Missis-sippians are now working than any time in our history Unemployment rates are a record low 52 the lowest in 22 years Mississippi now has a cash reserve that is folly funded at $196 million second only to Michigan When Gov Fordice took office our state was broke Mississippi now ranks No 2 in the South in new business second only to Texas PRIME education program puts education back where MARIE HARRIS Editorial Director 896-2301 TONY BIFFLE Associate Editor 896-2387 forgotten the parables of Jesus? And Where is the morality of this? The compassion? Have we forgotten our Founding words: and equality for aU promote the for all and not the special welfare for some We pledge our lives and our fortunes We the older people of America are perhaps somewhat in our second childhood but you baby boomers please remind us that should be seen and not Remember that someday you will be getting older too DWYN MILTON MOUNGER Bay St Louis a GOP values (family and woik) fit Molpus to aT Seeing typical misleading Republican strategy used against Dick Molpus shows that Republicans do not care about family values improving government performance or any other of the issues they harp on whenever given the spo tlight Republicans only care about taking control of the government and keeping ft Dick Molpus is the perfect candidate for governor if Republican values are the standard of excellence He runs his family better than Fordice Molpus has not been on TV announcing marital separation Molpus runs his government office better than Fordice Molpus runs the state department without any tax dollars arid gives the treasury $1 million per year Fordice has millions and millions of gambling dollars to manage and under his administration bis offices keep needing more and more money to keep programs going Dick Molpus as Republicans are labeling him comes from a family that owned a sawmill and made money the old-fashioned way: They cut logs into lumber and sold the lumber for a profit They take government handouts or seek government contracts Fordice on the other hand is a highway contractor by profession If he is not also a millionaire he must be an incompetent noncompetitive highway contractor Trent Lott funnels billions of federal highway tax dollars to Mississippi so highway contractors like Fordice can make a living Fordice lives off tax dollars Molpus and bis family make money in the private sector Anyone who believes in the values Republicans use to get elected will vote for Dick Molpus for governor STEVE SHEPARD Ocean Springs Gttuufis efforts to balance the budget at long last God bless them! But I have a few questions the This has a strangely familiar ring to it that what Gramm-Rudman was all about years ago? What happened to Gramm-Rudman? Why does Uncle Sam in time of war point his finger at us all and say need you and accept us when we volunteer and compel (draft) some of us but draft or even ask us to give a single dollar to defend our country? And now in the noble effort to balance the budget how much have very rich corporations been asked to give back out of the billions in subsidies handouts? Also why do they begin first of all in cutting back on the old the sick and the poor Le Medicaid and the middle class Le Medicare? Where does religion come into the picture? Have we THE SUNHERALD A Knlght-Rkldsr Newspaper Serving the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1884 ROLAND WEEKS JR President and Publisher 896-2420 Democrat liberalism Is the root problem I find it ironic and incongruous that gubernatorial candidate Molpus complains in his ads of the current negative aspects of crime and education in Mississippi since it is the policies of his liberal Democrat Party which have brought these disastrous results The permissiveness political correctness and lack of discipline and respect for authority have brought us to this deplorable stage of our history MARGARET McDOUGAL Biloxi The Sun Herald invites letters to the editor from readers on subjects of public interest Letters should be to the point no longer than 300 words please Only one letter per writer per month will be published Editors reserve the right to edit or reject Letters on the subjects of religion or sports should be addressed to those departments Letters must include the signature home address and telephone number names and communities of residence are printed with all published letters Fax to 896-21 04 or mail to: Letters to the Editor Associate Editor Tony Biffte The Sun Herald PO Box 4567 Biloxi MS 39535-4567 MICHAEL TONOS Executive Editor 896-2300 ANDREA YEAGER Managing Editor 896-2345 PUBLISHED BY GULF PUBLISHING CO INC PO Box 4567 Biloxi MS 39535-4567 it t4-

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