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Hospice: It’s not what you might think

November is National Hospice Month, and for many people it’s also the beginning of the holiday season when extended families gather to celebrate. These gatherings often include updates and discussions about caring for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves. This is when it is good to understand how hospice can help.

The word “hospice” often brings up anxiety and resistance fueled by misconceptions about what hospice care actually includes. Hospice is so much more than end-of-life care, benefiting both patients and their families.

Far from “giving up” in the face of an advanced illness, choosing hospice can help patients and families make the most of time together when a cure is no longer an option. At St. Croix Hospice, we focus on helping patients and loved ones maintain quality of life during the time they have together. Hospice care can be provided for anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less, and it may be continued as long as a patient is eligible.

St. Croix hospice is an organization that provides 24/7, 365 days-a-year hospice services in locations around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, including a branch in Council Bluffs serving southwest Iowa.

Hospice care is a growing need as the U.S. population ages. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2035, adults age 65 and older will outnumber children. St. Croix Hospice’s Council Bluffs branch has served more than 400 patients so far in 2019.

Everyone deserves exceptional care and comfort when the end of life approaches. Hospice services respect the individual’s unique wishes while providing comfort, care and dignity.

CEO Heath Bartness

St. Croix Hospice

Oakdale, Minnesota

Public option is a fraud

“Public option” was intentionally promoted by the insurance industry to push people away from supporting a single-payer system but they have no intention of allowing a public option to pass. Wendell Potter was vice president of corporate communications for CIGNA, where he helped craft the propaganda around “socialized medicine” and “government-run health care” to scare people away from supporting a single payer system.

They used “public option,” “choice” and “competition” to protect the status quo. After he resigned, Potter wrote “Deadly Spin — How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.”

In a more recent interview titled “Without Medicare for All, the Healthcare System Will Collapse” Potter explains why a “Public Option,” fixing ACA or “Medicare for All Who Want It,” will not work. Candidates like Biden and Buttigieg, who are still pushing a public option, are repeating a fraud created by the insurance industry. Yes, many people are scared by the fear mongering around “Medicare for All” but too many people already understand that fear mongering, comes from the insurance industry.

We cannot beat Trump with a fraud. Please watch the interview mentioned above and please stop repeating the propaganda.

Todd Smyth

Alexandria, Virginia

Echoes of Watergate

With the start of public impeachment hearings, Congressional Republicans should look to their predecessors from the last time a Republican president was impeached.

Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, Republican from Virginia, said, “It is we, not the Democrats, who must demonstrate that we are capable of enforcing the high standards we would set for them.”

Rep. Lawrence Hogan, Republican of Maryland and father of the current governor of Maryland, told his colleagues, “For our system of justice and our system of government to survive, we must pledge our highest allegiance to the strength of the law and not to the common frailties of men.”

They were right. The Republican Party needed to divorce itself from the shame of Nixon and Watergate so it could reinvent itself. In a prediction of our current moment, Connecticut Republican Lowell Weicker said, “If we try to play coy or to be less than extremely forceful in getting the truth out, people are going to impute to us this rather sorted succession of events.”

Republicans, take note.

Stan Twardy

Republicans for the Rule of Law

Stamford, Connecticut

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