Because of the contract renewal dispute between Memorial and United Healthcare, thousands of Chattanoogans now are considered "out of network" if they use any provider or lab affiliated with the Memorial system. This means patients have to (pay) 50 percent of their bill, at higher non-negotiated discounts, and have higher deductibles. Since United Healthcare is only providing half the service they provided just a few days ago, it seems only logical that subscribers (both individuals and businesses) should only pay half the monthly premium to UHC. Of course, this is not likely to happen, so maybe the governor can direct the state insurance commissioner or attorney general to look into this matter. I know this sounds farfetched, but when someone pays the full fee for a service, but only receives half the service, isn't it considered fraud?
Mark your calendar now for the last Friday evening in November. Be at Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. to get an early Christmas gift from the Chattanooga Music Club!
The magnificent Austin pipe organ will be featured in a family-oriented holiday special and will be played by Larry Douglas Embury, who is organist in residence at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. This outstanding program will also highlight a 15-year-old singing sensation from Venezuela -- Daniel Mata -- along with Chattanooga's own beloved Metropolitan Bells, plus Brassworks (a six-member brass group from the Jericho Brass Band). Local TV personality and former UTK high-stepping band member Greg Glover will lead an audience sing-along of Christmas songs as another part of the evening's events.
There is no charge for this delightful program of entertainment -- so be there or be square! Rumor has it there also may be a visitor attending from the North Pole.
The recent death of Zion the dog at McKamey Animal Shelter is a tragedy. His owner has lost his best friend and the shelter has lost credibility with the community that supports it. But this tragedy can prevent the deaths of countless animals in the future.
Spay or neuter your pet.
Keep your pet protected with a rabies vaccination (it's the law, too).
Secure the rabies tag on their collar and add an ID tag with your contact information as well.
Attach an identification tag or collar to every animal in the facility.
Use a "double check" system whenever an animal undergoes any procedure or relocation.
Make your employees and volunteers accountable for all contact, i.e. feeding, bathing, medical treatment, by having them initial a log for every contact.
Zion can never be replaced but he can have a legacy that will save the lives of other animals.
The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were American Indians. With Indians come Indian mounds. Indian mounds were constructed by heaping soil, rock or other materials onto natural land surfaces for ritual or burial purposes or as the location for important structures. The tri-state region has thousands of mounds, including around 900 mound sites recorded to date across Tennessee alone.
Chickamauga Mound, located at Moccasin Bend, is a Native American Indian burial mound from 2,000 years ago and is the oldest human-made structure in Chattanooga. The larger Citico Mound in Chattanooga, which contained at least 91 burials as well as Native American artifacts, was leveled for the construction of Riverside Drive in 1914.
Thousands of Indian mounds have been destroyed by modern development and vandalism, but several hundred remain. The key to preserving the history of Chattanooga lies in the act of respecting and maintaining these historic and sacred places. Contact the National Park Service volunteer coordinator if you would like to volunteer on Moccasin Bend.
In response to a Nov. 3 letter regarding the conservative position on life issues: I have great respect for those who, out of core beliefs on the sanctity of life, do all they can to "protect and nurture mothers and babies." Unfortunately, more often the people I encounter who are most vehement against abortion also espouse opposition to funds for health care, education and nutrition programs.
Leonard Pitts succinctly wrote in his Nov. 4 column: "But, you see, 'life' is not just the fact of existence. The term refers also to the nature and quality of that existence. So if we truly hold life sacred, we do not balance budgets by denying funding to programs that feed hungry children. We do not look the other way when kids have no access to health care."
There would be some common ground between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" -- not very descriptive terms in my estimation -- if the goals included reduction in unplanned pregnancies through greater access to birth control and education and greater provision for parents and children through nutrition, health care and education programs.
Without these, too often these children become adults among the prison and homeless populations.
Don't we all just want a stable, functional society?
The Democrats have done their best to label the Republican Party as the party of racism. However, it was Republican President Abraham Lincoln who signed a permanent Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in this country. But it was Democrat Gov. George Wallace who blocked black students from entering schools in Alabama.
It was Democrat Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas, a devout segregationist, who in 1957 sent in the Arkansas National Guard to block black students from entering public schools in his refusal to accept a U.S. Supreme Court ruling of desegregating Arkansas public schools.
But it was Republican President Eisenhower who sent federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 to escort into school and protect the nine black students, "the Little Rock nine" who had been blocked from entering their school by Gov. Faubus.
It also was President Eisenhower who desegregated the armed forces. But it was Democrat Gov. Lester Maddox in Georgia who used a baseball bat and a pistol to chase black citizens out of Georgia restaurants. I'm not saying the Republican Party has a spotless record but it amazes me how history gets "changed" and altered and how quickly we forget.