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Letters to the Editor for April 16

Helping students succeed

I’m an instructor at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore. On Saturday, April 11, Jeff Blackman held an event in your downtown area for an electric car race. Jeff and his volunteers did an outstanding job!

Events like these provide a chance for students to test their ideas in real-world terms.

The positive impact of this type of learning experiences far outweighs the inconvenience of a few residents experienced driving in town.

Mark Bray

Eugene

Well-deserved

I want to thank you for covering Laurie Wheeler’s well-deserved retirement on the front page of the paper. Whenever I go to Cascade Locks School I almost always see her; she always greets me cheerfully with a smile making me feel welcome, just the way you pictured her. Being an upbeat person, I suspect she greets all visitors she sees that way.

Laurie has bestowed the gift of knowledge to so many children here in Cascade Locks, I know the children and parents — many she has probably taught a generation ago — will be saddened to see her leave.

Thanks for your dedication to our children all these years, Laurie, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

Common sense fix

AARP thanks Rep. Greg Walden (R-2nd District) for cosponsoring the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act. It’s an important piece of federal legislation for senior Oregonians and their families.

Currently, Medicare requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay as a precondition for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. However, time spent in observation does not count toward the three-day stay requirement, so some beneficiaries may fail to qualify for Medicare coverage of SNF care, even though they have spent more than three days in the hospital in observation status or in outpatient observation.

Patients in observation statue may receive care that is indistinguishable from inpatient care, yet that care does not qualify them for Medicare coverage of SNF services. These beneficiaries may then be faced with paying the full cost of their SNF care or being denied appropriate SNF care due to lack of Medicare coverage, causing considerable financial and family hardships.

The legislation cosponsored by Rep. Walden would help fix that by deeming a Medicare beneficiary receiving outpatient observation services as an inpatient for purposes of meeting the required Medicare time period, among other provisions. It would help Medicare beneficiaries receive the SNF services they need and also help reduce large out-of-pocket expenses. It’s common-sense legislation that would mean a great deal to Oregon families. AARP backs it, and appreciates Rep. Walden’s co-sponsorship of the bill.

Paul Zastrow

Hood River

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