Letters to the Editor

Surprise bills

Editor:

Congress finally passed meaningful legislation in the form of the No Surprises Act to try to fix the surprise medical billing problem, only to see Secretary Becerra and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) write the rules not to make it fairer for the patients and medical professionals, but instead to heavily favor the insurance companies. 

This is so unfair to those who find themselves victim to these surprise medical bills because they had an emergency health incident and could not choose to make sure the care they received was from in their insurance network.  

Thankfully, the courts threw out those rules. Now we need the Senate and Congress to tell the HHS to follow the intent of the law and administer the act as intended. The HHS needs to get it right this time and protect the patients and health care professionals.  

P.S.: It’s good to read “Banner Health to build new Hospital in Buckeye.” It’s needed!

Rod Wesley, Buckeye

Ukraine and the United States

Editor:

The Russian attack on Ukraine has many Americans wondering where Ukraine is located. They have also been questioning whether the United States has ever been involved in that area of the world. Ukraine is located to the southwest of Russia, east of Poland and north of the Black Sea, and we have been involved in that part of the world throughout my lifetime.

In February 1945, I was 9, and World War II was raging, but the outcome in Europe was clear. Germany was losing, and the war would end that year. A conference was scheduled between the three major allies — the United States, the United Kingdom and the USSR — to be held at Yalta in the Crimea. 

Much of Europe was divided between the Western allies and Russia, and that set the stage for the Cold War.

By the early 1950s, the Cold War had become the main geopolitical issue of the time. Turkey became a key ally, and the United States began building military bases in that country. The largest was Incirlik AB near the Syrian border. That base became home to the U-2 spy plane, which flew high-altitude reconnaissance flights over Russia and Eastern Europe. On May 1, 1960, a U-2, flown by Gary Powers, was shot down over Russia, creating an international incident.

In 1963, I was a newly minted USAF captain assigned to Incirlik AB. Our military mission was nuclear strikes against Soviet targets across the Black Sea in Ukraine. On Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, I was having dinner in a rooftop restaurant in Istanbul with a friend who had flown in from San Francisco. The view was spectacular, the music entertaining and the food outstanding. 

Then the maître d’ stopped the music and with tears streaming down his face announced that the president had been assassinated. My first response was that it was the president of Turkey. It was, in fact, President John F. Kennedy. The following day the city of Istanbul was a sea of American flags.

We were all recalled to the base. When I left Incirlik on Friday, security was normal. When I returned on Saturday, it was at the highest level. We were on a war footing. Planes were ready to launch, and the targets were across the Black Sea in Ukraine. The leadership in the Soviet Union was concerned that the assassination was a conspiracy and that World War III was possible. Give Lyndon Johnson credit for reaching out to the Russians and lowering the threat level.

In 1991, the world saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the birth of a host of new nations. Ukraine was one of those new nations, but of note, it had been a member of the United Nations since 1945.

During the presidency of Donald Trump, Ukraine became front-page news, culminating in the first impeachment trial of Mr. Trump in 2019. The new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, became well known in the United States and around the world. 

It is now 2022. Our former ally, Russia, is the enemy. Our former enemy, Germany, is our ally. Our former target, Ukraine, is now the recipient of our aid. The only constant is change.     

Col. Dr. Leonard Kirschner, Litchfield Park

U.S. Senate superstars

Editor:

I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge both U.S. senators, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), for helping confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson. President Biden’s nomination of Judge Jackson to the highest court in our land has made her the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, a truly historic and proud moment in our country. I know Judge Jackson will serve our country well in the years to come. 

Thank you, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Thank you, Sen. Mark Kelly. And thank you, President Joe Biden. 

Arthur Richarelli, Litchfield Park

Good going, David Leibowitz

Editor:

I’m a Goodyear resident who is very fond of your West Valley View paper. I find it extremely informative. 

I look forward to receiving my copy every Wednesday. 

I am presently 90 years old. Over the years, I have read hundreds of articles written by hundreds of people. In your May 11, 2022, issue, there is an article written by David Leibowitz about Allister Adel. It is, with no exception, the finest and most honest article I have ever, ever read. I cut it out and am saving it. Without question, Mr. Leibowitz is an extremely gifted writer. You should be proud that he writes for your paper. 

Ronald “Mickey” Donner, Goodyear

Need to fix this

Editor:

Congress finally passed meaningful legislation, in the form of the No Surprises Act, to try to fix the surprise medical billing problem.

However, Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wrote the rules not to make it fairer for the patients and medical professionals but to heavily favor the insurance companies. 

This is so unfair to those who find themselves victim to these surprise medical bills because they had an emergency health incident and could not choose to make sure the care they received was from in their insurance network.  

Thankfully, the courts threw out those rules. Now we need the Senate and Congress to tell the HHS to follow the intent of the law and administer the act as intended. The HHS needs to get it right this time and protect the patients and health care professionals.  

Rod Wesley, Buckeye