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Other Commentaries

Protecting emergency care system

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering how to address the issue of balance billing. Emergency physicians applaud them for doing so as no Pennsylvanian should worry about insurance at a time of crisis. However, the most recent attempt to address balance billing, HB 1862, would ...

Four tips to help manage flu season

You know the signs. The thunderous cough. The pounding headache. The full-body fatigue. It’s the flu. Last fall and winter, influenza sickened roughly 40 million Americans and killed 60,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year’s flu season is nearly upon ...

Joyce needs to stop his ‘whining’

Rep. John Joyce’s Oct. 15 article (“Time to move on from ’16 election) is one exercise in gaslighting after another. He fails to mention key facts, distorts others and misdirects on the rest. He states that Democrats have been “tirelessly scheming to remove (President Donald Trump) ...

Time to move on from ’16 election

Nearly three years ago, more than 6 million Pennsylvanians went to the polls to exercise their right to have a voice in our American government. The people of our commonwealth, for the first time since 1988, duly elected a Republican to serve as president of the United States. ...

Lawmakers put costs ahead of patients

The Senate Finance Committee just advanced a sweeping Medicare overhaul. Unfortunately, the bill does little to help America’s sickest patients; it jeopardizes physicians’ ability to provide timely, quality care to tens of millions of Americans. Congress would be wise to reject it. ...

Independent colleges aid economy

Pennsylvania has a rich history of higher education, including some of the best independent nonprofit colleges and universities in the nation. Apart from their mission as centers of learning — preparing students for their careers and for the world — these institutions are economic ...

Dems need smarter nominating process

Is anything really wrong with Jay Inslee? Was John Hickenlooper not qualified to be president? And is Steve Bullock a weak candidate? The answers are no, no, no and for all three, “on the contrary.” Any of them could be a remarkably attractive Democratic nominee for president. In a ...

They’ve lost their minds in San Fran

San Francisco, a city described in song for its natural beauty, is descending into an abyss of homelessness, the use of sidewalks as toilets and a place you might not want to visit, much less live. The latest, but surely not the last demonstration of insanity, is San Francisco’s Board of ...

Keystone XL construction long overdue

The decade-long fight over Keystone XL, a 1,179-mile underground oil pipeline that would carry crude from Canada to Nebraska, just took another surprising turn. In June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction and allowed the long-delayed construction project to move forward. ...

Trump: Vote me, or else

During a December 2015 debate among Republican presidential candidates in Las Vegas, former Florida governor Jeb Bush said to Donald Trump: “You can’t insult your way to the presidency.” Never mind. The question for next year’s election is whether the insulter-in-chief can use the ...

Warning signs for Republicans

President Donald Trump has backed off tariffs on toys made in China. His commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said the administration did not want to hurt Christmas. This is an admission against interest that the trade war with China is hurting the American people. Lately, the yield curve ...

All-out ‘blitz’ marks opening of season

One of the credos of the newspaper industry is to “get through the J months, and then something magical happens in the fall.” Or so Circulation Manager Dan Slep, whose family’s Mirror roots date back to 1874, has long maintained. Vacation season is over, the oppressive heat of August ...

Local pharmacies need protection

I write as president of a cooperative company comprised of independent community pharmacies, typical of the community pharmacies throughout our commonwealth. For more than a century, independent, community pharmacists have served generations of families all across Pennsylvania, providing ...

Ensuring quality care important: Legislature needs to pass House Bill 853

By Dr. Ralph McKibbin There is nothing I enjoy more as a health care provider than seeing a patient make tremendous progress with their health. And as you might imagine, there is nothing more devastating than watching a patient’s health deteriorate when his or her treatment plan is turned ...

Hospitalists provide invaluable roles

I am writing in response to your series of articles regarding the shortage of primary care physicians in our area. I am speaking on behalf of the Lexington Hospitalist group at UPMC Altoona. We are addressing a few statements made by the primary care providers (PCPs) featured in your ...

Trump doesn’t run government in fear

How exciting. The presidential sweepstakes are in high gear, and from an Orlando, Florida, extravaganza, the 2020 voting procedures will be the most exciting ever and will be a knockdown/drag out. Good. Without any doubt events of Tuesday night are a continuation of the 2016 election of ...

‘God bless greatest generation’

Today’s the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France in World War II — codenamed Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious assault and the largest sea, air and land operation in history. On Tuesday June 6, 1944, 150,000 American, British and Canadian troops supported ...

Clean water plan needs your voice

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the latest clean water blueprint is the “best and perhaps the last chance to restore water quality” to the bay. After decades of volunteer efforts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 mandated D.C. and the five states in the watershed to ...

Setting record about severance tax

In March, the Altoona Mirror reported on the fact that both the state and federal government agree on the need for expanded broadband access in rural areas. That’s because anyone living or working in a rural area understands how lack of access to high-speed internet hurts our students’ ...

Health care computers can kill you

Texting while driving is so dangerous that it’s outlawed. But doctors and nurses are expected to care for patients while keeping their eyes glued to a computer screen, following prompts and clicking boxes. Some electronic health record systems require 62 clicks just to order Tylenol, and ...