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December 3, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 3, 2014
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Workers" compensation is a failure on many levels WHERE I STAND professional has modified ............................... my doctor's prescribed DAVID WHITLOW DISABLED VETERAN Some recent laws and proposed legislation inappropriately infringe on clinical medical practice and patient-physician relationships, crossing traditional boundaries and intruding into the realm of medical professionalism. Several states have proposed or adopted legislation or regulations that misappropriate clinical practice to th6 detriment of patients. Of particular concern are laws and regulations that require physicians to provide care not supported by evidence-based guidelines or not individualized to the needs of the specific patient. I'm speaking of workers' compensation. On more than one occasion, comp's medical medications that are reasonable and necessary medications prescribed to me. This is below the standard of care and has put my life at risk. Furthermore, workers' comp is causing many doctors in Plumas/Lassen counties to suspend taking comp medical cases because workers' comp overrides their diagnosis and treatment of their patients. All parties involved in the provision of health care, including elected officials, are responsible for acknowledging and lending support to the intimacy and important needs of the patient and physician relationship. A physician has the ethical obligation to put the patient first. This is not the case with workers' comp. Shouldn't the government let private physicians themselves decide what is best for their patients? It should not be left to a doctor who has never seen the patient but reads a two-page narrative and then decides your fate. Workers' comp is a failure. It is a disappointment to every worker in California who was injured on the job. The care does not allow for flexibility based on individual patient circumstances. It does not allow for the most appropriate time, setting and means of delivering such information or care especially from a physician who just reads a short narrative, who has never seen you, and signs you off as "no hope." This is wrong on every level. The law puts every injured worker in jeopardy. This is rogue governmental ethics and our senator should address this issue immediately. Most people are aware that in treatment among evidence-based options, the patient's values are paramount. The physician should not violate standards of medical care or ethics, fundamental personal values or the law. Patients should not be required to undergo tests or interventions, especially invasive and potentially harmful interventions that violate the patient's values. Patients should not be required to undergo tests that are not medically necessary, and are not supported by scientific evidence on clinical effectiveness, or could expose the patient to unnecessary risk. On my recent medical review, one-half of the two-paragraph document was a disclosure about the medical professional who looked over the two paragraphs on my medical evaluation with no consideration whatsoever about the patient receiving treatment. This comp physician had never met me or invited me in for an examination. The doctor read over a two-paragraph synopsis of my condition with no prior medical evaluation of me. He had no fact-based evidence on my condition or treatment prescribed by my doctor. I've had the same family doctor for several years. But this workers' comp doctor overrode my personal physician's treatment. This treatment of Californians is nothing less than rogue government at its finest and won't be tolerated by injured workers for long. The California Legislature needs to wake up. Members and their constituents are putting the lives of injured workers at high risk. We are the very people who elected them because we thought We would be protected from scandalous behaviors, espec_lly by a position held to the highest degree of care and ethics -- the medical profession. No law or regulation should limit access to needed care, or unnecessarily divert from the precious time that physicians have to spend with patients. Workers' comp laws/regulations are a violation of the HIPAA doctrine, the medical oath, health and safety regulations, and the business and professional codes. Something needs to be done on this law before another Californian falls victim to workers' comp "by someone's book" care, or lack of it. It's just plain wrong. Divided government does not have to be dysfunctional WHERE I STAND LEE H. HAMILTON DIRECTOR, INDIANA UNIVERSITY CENTER ON CONGRESS Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections over the past few weeks, you'd think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country. In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser. It's the next few weeks and months that really matter. The big question, as the old Congress reconvenes and prepares to make way for next year's version, is whether the two parties will work more closely together to move the country forward or instead lapse back into confrontation and deadlock. I suspect the answer will be a mix: modest progress on a few issues, but no major reforms. Overall, the deep frustration Americans feel toward Washington will likely continue. Especially since, despite the urgent problems confronting us, the House leadership has announced an astoundingly relaxed 2015 agenda that includes not a single five-day work week, 18 weeks with no votes scheduled, and just one full month in session: January. Still, there is hope for at leasta modicum of progress. The president wants to enhance his legacy. More politicians these days seem to prefer governing to posturing. The Republican Party may have won big in the elections, but it still cannot govern alone: it will need Democratic votes in the Senate and the cooperation of the president. And both parties want to demonstrate that they recognize they're responsible for governing. Congress faces plenty of issues that need addressing, which means that skillful legislators who want to show progress have an extensive menu from which to choose. Trade, health care, terrorism, responsible budgeting, rules on greenhouse gas emissions ... all of these are amenable to incremental progress. Which is not to say that progress is inevitable. President Obama acted to halt deportations of millions of illegal immigrants, though he did so without Congress. His action could unleash unpredictable consequences. Meanwhile, the new Republican Senate is almost certain to give the President's nominees a hard time; while GOP senators are unlikely to want to appear too tough on Loretta Lynch, the nominee for attorney general, the gloves will almost certainly come off for nominees who must negotiate hearings after her. Yet indications of what next year may be like have already begun to emerge. Bills with a relatively narrow focus that enjoy bipartisan support- boosting agricultural development aid overseas, funding research into See Hamilton, page 8B LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Guidelines for letters All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously 'published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m.; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's of]'wes, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to dmcdonald@plumasnews.com Freedom to choose We have no representation in the California Legislature. What we want, freedom to choose, is not available to us in Northern California. Why do we hear nothing from our county supervisors about what was presented to them in October concerning the state of Jefferson? Faye Almond Chester Lake Almanor centennial I have fmally finished reading your Lake Almanor centennial edition (about time), and would like to commend you for a very informative, well-written and thorough series of articles. Most of us tourists really do not think much about the history of an area, but your efforts really did a t'me job of enlightening me about the lake and the local area. Bob Egbert Reno Obstructing development The front-page article "Feather River Inn development stalled" (Nov. 26) makes the stonewalling board of directors of the Graeagle Fire Protection District appear to be ei/.her dedicated extortionists or obstructionists whose primary goal is to destroy economic development within the county. Perhaps this is what they have become, but I would have expected more from them. Bill Mainland Portola Special district ethics Thanks to Feather Publishing for exposing the posture and attitude of the board at the Graeagle Fire Protection District. The district's lack of understanding between annexation charges and any semblance of cost accounting does not meet the same ethical standard taught at last March's training for all special district office holders. Neither does their behavior. Absent any numerical linkage between the annexation of the Schomac development's acreage and its structures and the cost of service to calculate an appropriate fee charge, we are left to speculate at the myriad reasons for this. Without more information about a demonstrated annexation policy and calculation procedure in the GFPD, all the potential reasons look bad. They reflect poorly on fire service volunteers in that district and elsewhere. It's hard to imagine how firefighters could be ready to take risks to protect the life and property of others when their leaders seem bent on what looks like something between refusal and extortion in dealing with an enterprise that is ready to "lift all boats" economically in the Graeagle region. If I was a current resident within the GFPD, I would exercise additional caution in future elections both for filling board seats and for approving any additional tax-based revenue for this fire department. I would also wonder if I was as safe from destruction as I previously thought and if these apples were an isolated group or were a product of the entire barrel. I look forward to the result of Feather Publishing's public records request and hope that if there is culpability at this public agency, it is reviewed by appropriate parties for legal action. Bill Martin Quincy PUSD doesn't need lobbyists Of all the idiotic ideas to ever be floated, this one takes the cake. Lobbyists have done such wonderful things for our government, why not inflict them on the school district? A disastrous superintendent that had to be paid to leave was obviously a financial setback. The Taylorsville school was subsequently closed due to a lack of funds. This was a great little school, with community and parent involvement. Using money to hire a lobbying firm would be another mistake, and a total waste of money. What, they will generate publicity for the district? Give me a break. Invest in the classrooms, provide stimulating programs and activities that make kids want to come to school. Get out of the testing rut and bring creativity back to the classroom. If the board wants to improve the schools, appoint a committee of teachers, students and parents and listen to them. I taught for 32 years; during that time California went from being one of the two top states in education to the current position near the bottom. Stupid decisions by politicians and elected officials, and the failure to adequately fund our most important resource, our children, brought us to the point where we need to hire ... lobbyists? No way. Anne Ruffner Taylorsville Lack of gratitude Ya talk about a "this glass is 80 percent empty" outlook. I thought with his party taking 55 percent of the Senate, and an even larger majority in the House, that he'd be turning cartwheels with joy. All he does is complain about the top vote-getter in the local city council race. Not to mention the lack of gratitude since the local citizenry saved him two grand on the offer of "performance bonuses." Gene Nielsen Crescent Mills Ferguson event is staged Just as Occupy Wall Street was kind of on target but purposefully slanted left, so are the Ferguson riots. Occupy blamed Wall Street and capitalism when the overall sentiment should have been put on the Federal Reserve and its relationship with the government. Police violence against everyone (soccer morns included) is on a severe increase. The Ferguson situation falsely acknowledges this fact by focusing on the effects to the black community only. Secondly, the shooting of Michael Brown was justified, as he tried to kill officer Darren Wilson. I would not say this about hundreds of other police shootings, such as Albuquerque sheriffs killing James Boyd (a white guy) in cold blood. That shooter just got off with no slap. This is where a demonstration should be held. Instead, we have a facilitated demonstration in Ferguson that is being promoted by the left. Researching on the interweb shows many examples that this event is staged and maintained as a racial divider as well as an excuse for martial law. The events these days seem as engineered as the weather. Not a conspiracy. Just the ugly truth. Robert Milne Clio Warming proof In the Alps, a 5,000-year-old man came to light with the thawing of the glaciers. In Russia, as the permafrost thaws, great fields of mastodons are being recovered that will supply the scrimshaw artisans with tusks until the end of the century. Along the Alaskan coast, glaciers are breaking off into the sea. In addition, ocean currents are warming. Closer to home, before the industrial revolution, our mountains were identified as having permanent snow and Indian Creek was the source of ice for the local community. Today, the snow on our mountains hardly ever lasts through June, and it would be absurd to think that Indian Creek could freeze deeply enough to supply ice for our community. These are just a few undeniable proofs of global warming. Originally, the scientists who brought our attention to global warming had no political motive. It was the polluters who made it political. Why would anyone defend the polluters and vilify the scientists who are thinking only for the good of the planet? It can only be that they identify with and are defending the negative party that has made it political, no matter what the consequences. Beside the point: Our word "gossip" has an interesting background. Originally, it was "God's spiel," the Anglo-Saxon for "God's word." Then it became shortened to "godspel" then to "gospel," and then to "gossip," simply a spokesperson, which eventually descended to the pejorative rumor-spreading destroyer of reputations. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact/ U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 1 St., Suite 7-600 Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. lamalfa.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 288 Churn Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. .' STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 6514001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, E1 Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center. 1670 Market St., Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225-3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. I GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.