Letters to the editor: Feb. 20, 2008

Obstacles to at-home care

This July, it will be 13 years since my car accident that left me as a quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent. Since then, I’ve lived in a nursing home, group home and now in my own home.

Before living at home, I was hospitalized about every six to eight weeks. Now that I receive skilled nursing care at home, I’ve been hospitalized only briefly about once a year. My nurses are exceptional and like part of my family. They are RNs and LPNs employed through a home health care agency funded by Medicaid’s Private Duty Nursing Program, or Medically Intensive Home Healthcare.

Due to poor funding, it is getting harder to hire and retain nurses. The agency is losing money and had to cut my hours and those of other Medicaid clients. These providers have asked the state for a rate increase to just break even, but received a third of it.

We are going to Olympia on Feb. 20 to ask our legislators for the rest. If my hours get cut back further, the only other safe living option for me is the hospital ICU. If you agree that it makes more sense for folks like me to be cared for at home where it is much less costly, please join me in writing your legislators and asking them for the rate increase. Thank you.

Jeff Ludwig, Kent


The election is now over

The voting for or against a “strong mayor” for Federal Way is over.

In one of the letters to the editor (Feb. 16), Nancy Combs hit the nail on the head about the Federal Way City Council members. I quote Ms. Combs: “Residents who have voted for our council members through the years have soon found out that there is no way to unelect them once they are in, no matter how unhappy the residents are.”

We have been residents of Federal Way for just a little over 10 years. In that time frame, there have been a couple of council members who have been elected mayor, by the city council, at least a couple of times, and in one case three times. It’s like a revolving door: If you are on the council, then at some point in time you will become mayor, by default.

No wonder the Federal Way City Council doesn’t want a “strong mayor” — because they can’t elect him/her.

Pat Gee, Federal Way

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