COVID-19 exposes Trump, medical care inequities

The president has tested positive for COVID-19, which seems to be the political "October surprise" that everyone saw coming. It is now a sprint from an abundance of risk to an abundance of caution for Republican Party leadership. Super spreader events should put a period on the absolute failure of this administration's pandemic policies. Vote.

This also highlights differences in our ability to obtain medical care. Rich and/or well-connected seem to have access to the best hospitals, experimental drugs and an unmatched level of care. The middle class, who usually has health insurance, can get care once symptoms are present. For the others without insurance, "it is do the best you can" or emergency rooms. Everyone deserves access to affordable health insurance. Vote.

A president must weigh the consequences of his words and actions. To help his campaign image, the president has politicized wearing a mask. That should be criminal behavior. But sadly, it is only contempt I feel as we approach 210,000 lives lost.

Wearing a mask is not totally effective, but most experts think it helps. All of us should be doing everything we can to limit the spread of the virus. Vote.

Terry McDowell

Ringgold, Georgia


Media unfairly hits on Trump's condition

Your front page article on President Trump's medical condition follows the example of most major media in always casting any information about President Trump in negative terms.

The report used the words, "Trump's medical team dodged questions " and "Conley declined to say " and "declined to discuss ", etc., as if the physicians and the White House were keeping secrets from the public.

Perhaps you have never heard of HIPPA, the law that makes medical information private and available only to the persons named in a legal document called a power of attorney for health care. Of course, it's only a month until the election, and the media continues to do all they can to contribute to a Democratic victory.

Jeff Wilson



Medicare Advantage a true advantage

An Aug. 30 article in the Times Free-Press, "Medicare Advantage: Increased death rates hit users of low-premium plans," used an inflammatory title and sensationalized claims to wrongly suggest Medicare Advantage, the Medicare option chosen by 40% of seniors in Hamilton County, puts seniors at greater health risk.

The author neglects findings to the contrary. A host of studies show Medicare Advantage offers lower costs, more benefits and achieves better health outcomes for chronically ill beneficiaries, as compared to traditional Medicare.

For example, a 2018 report from Avalere Health found Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with chronic conditions had 33% fewer emergency room visits than those in traditional Medicare and received "more preventive physician tests and services." Likewise, a 2017 study in the American Journal of Managed Care found Medicare Advantage's use of value-based contracting resulted in a 32% lower risk of death.

As a nursing student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, quality health care for seniors is of personal importance to me. With a 99% satisfaction rating nationwide, Medicare Advantage works for those it serves. Misleading scare tactics are disrespectful of these beneficiaries and others exploring options.

Ellen Marie