The time is now

I recently attended a community forum at Union Baptist Church. For two hours, we listened to Police Chief Katrina Thompson, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough and District Attorney Jim Irwin. All three shared information about issues in our community around crime, gangs and our children/youth.

Those in the audience submitted questions for the panel of these three amazing leaders. Often, I wanted to stand up and cheer.

All on the panel are committed to serving the people of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. They are passionate about their jobs. But it is clear, for them their serving is more than a job. They love our children and youth and want the best for them. The children and youth in our city and county are our children. All of us are part of the same human family. Our law enforcement officers and elected officials cannot do their jobs without our help.

That help can take many forms. Children and youth need tutors and mentors. Our school personnel need our support as they care for amazing kids, often buying supplies with their own money.

For those who want to help, the opportunities are abundant. Any of these folks would welcome your help. Contact them to find out how you can make our city and county a better place, especially for our children, youth and families. The time is now!

The Rev. Beverly E. Gaska

Winston-Salem

Suspicious?

I was stunned to read of the Guilford County school board member, Linda Welborn, objecting to having high school seniors visit registration centers where they were informed about voting and given the chance to register (“Guilford schools allow students to vote on field trip,” Feb. 25). Frankly, I can’t figure out what “suspicious ulterior motives” she refers to. Isn’t voting a key part of Civics 101?

And moreover, what is a person who is opposed to showing newbies the voting process doing on the school board? What other limitations to learning does she suggest?

Robyn Mixon

Winston-Salem

The big picture

I am a “big picture” person. I see a man who has severed relations with democratic allies and is using all his energy to establish relationships with communist dictatorships. I see a man who can only speak lies and propaganda and buries the truth. I see a man who ousts any individual who stands for our democracy and Constitution, only to replace them with an individual whose only qualification is loyalty to him and his lies. I see a man who builds walls to keep people out, but I fear they may be being built to keep me in at some future date.

It is my belief we have a communist leading our country astray. I am praying for our country and the remaining brave men who lead it.

Diane Linville

Kernersville

Surprise medical billing

Congress is wrestling with how to manage surprise medical billing. These are charges for medical services unknown to patients at the time they see a doctor.

These bills typically come from services provided in an emergency when an in-network provider may not be available. This puts patients in an unfair position and has proven to be a puzzle for our representatives. What seemed to be on a fast track in the fall has stalled and remains unresolved.

That said, there are three undeniable priorities. First is that patients do not belong in the middle of this debate. Second is that physicians should be fairly compensated for the care that they provide. And most important, access to care in all situations, especially emergencies, should be protected. The multiple proposals being debated in Congress need more work to hopefully achieve these goals.

The North Carolina Medical Society supports protecting patients from surprise billing. Immediate action items include stopping attempts to fix the problem by tying mandatory reimbursement to an arbitrary median in-network rate. But rather, our solution is to require insurers to have the robust and transparent networks that are necessary to serve their subscribers in all situations — and when this is not plausible, to negotiate up-front and equitable arrangements with their key non-network providers. This way, patients who need treatment can retain access to high-quality health care without incurring personal financial harm.

Dr. Carl J. Westcott

Winston-Salem

Westcott is a board representative of the North Carolina Medical Society. — the editor

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