Because dialysis is literally a lifeline to survival, Medicare covers the cost of dialysis, regardless of age. Fiscal challenges require doing more with less. Dialysis facilities know that. Two years ago we adopted a new payment plan that required belt tightening, but we kept our service quality high and our clinic network intact.
New Medicare cuts could undermine this progress. Our patients have multiple health issues. Medicare barely covers the cost of complex dialysis care now, and new cuts would be devastating.
Please contact your Congressional representatives and ask them to protect dialysis patients from budget cuts.
Fresenius Medical Care
Scenic highway is a monument to state
Over 17 years and many visits to the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument Area, I have come to agree that it stands as one of West Virginia's great locations. Few other scenes anywhere compare with a view on the Route150 Scenic Highway where it descends from Little Laurel Scenic Overlook to the Williams River. As my truck rounds a bend, the north slopes of both Black Mountain and Sugar Creek Mountain suddenly loom above, massive, steep and close.
Among the tract's ridges prehistoric hunter/gatherers, the Shawnee, Iroquois and colonial frontiersmen pursued their destinies.
Then from the early days of the nation until World War II the people of neighboring valleys earnestly trekked to them as a commons providing game, fish and furs -- and food and medicinal plants as well -- to supplement the farm economy.
A sense of the pricelessness of that kind of ages-old relationship with the mountains began to get to me hard in Vietnam. As a young GI, I daydreamed about roaming in a place like this.
The world of high mountains, dense forests and rocky streams has had a dominant influence on West Virginia's culture and society. Their experience in it also directly has shaped the state's people, who are famous for their strength of character, determination, hospitality and honesty.
Even as it will celebrate one of the region's last great and largely intact forested mountain ranges, this national monument inevitably also will become a monument to the state and to its people and their story.