Union Democrat staff

Cal Fire thanks

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to thank Cal Fire and all the people involved in making our area at Gold Rush Mobile Home Park more fire safe. I called several fire agencies about the fire hazard we had, and each were nice enough to respond back. They had to get an okay from Columbia State Park to do any work. Finally, somehow, they got an okay and on Friday, May 29, Cal Fire came out and cleared the area.

Thank you to all of you involved!

Sharon and Nick Nicholas


Health care reform

To the editor:

An issue regarding health-care reform that still needs to be addressed is insurance company denial of doctor-prescribed medical treatments.

In 1993 my son Micah was denied payment for his bone marrow transplant by our insurance company. We were then denied access to the hospital that would be performing the procedure until we came up with $107,000.

A few months ago I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about a cancer patient who was denied treatment by the hospital administering her chemotherapy until she paid a large "upfront payment." She was "blocked" from the system, left critically ill and desperate for help. Recently, allnurses.com posted a reader comment regarding a 17-year-old girl who died while waiting for a liver transplant. The young woman's hospital refused to do the transplant after her insurance company denied her claim requesting payment for the procedure - unless the family could come up with $75,000 up front.

Along with physical and emotional stress, many hardworking, middle-class families have suffered catastrophic financial hardships because of issues of nonpayment of medical claims by their insurers. We should not be left to wonder about, worry about, stress over whether doctor-prescribed medical procedures will be paid for or not. Being denied treatment by an insurance company when push comes to shove is a nightmare beyond what is decent and humane.

When the fate of someone you love is being determined by a conglomerate looking at dollars rather than human beings, it is a tragedy we citizens should not have to tolerate. Please, let's work together to make sure no other American is denied the benefit of quality medical care.

Shelley Muniz


Swimming pools

To the editor:

I was reading the front page of your sports section last week and I saw that the Board of Supervisors is planning on cutting all of Tuolumne County's recreation pools from the budget.

I think that this is an outrage. No swim lessons, no pool rentals, no kind of activities for the youth in our county. We have had so many people drown in the many, many lakes and rivers in this county, but not nearly as many as we will see in the coming years when there are no longer swim lessons.

A qualified and trained instructor who not only helps teach kids to swim but teaches them water safety. How can we not provide this for the many families in our community? The Recreation Department has taught hundreds of children to swim, and I think it would be a shame to send them out into the lake or to a river without the proper knowledge of how to protect themselves.

One death is too many. How many more do we need for the Board of Supervisors to reconsider this ill-fated decision?

Katie Foletti