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Your Letters

The recent Relay For Life made me thankful yet again, not just to have survived cancer but to have survived our broken health insurance industry. I’m self-employed, and the only health insurance I can afford has a $5,000 deductible and excludes preventative care. In 2005, when the premiums exceeded 15 percent of my income, I signed up with a cheaper company and cancelled my old policy.

But before I got my refund, I noticed some lumps. I knew that if they were malignant, my new policy wouldn’t cover treatment. Thankfully, I was able to “uncancel” my old policy, and the lumps were benign. Then six weeks later I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Because I still had my old policy, most of my treatment was covered, so I didn’t lose my home or go bankrupt from hospital bills.

Thankfully, I am cancer free, but my premiums continue to skyrocket. I can’t get cheaper insurance, because of my pre-existing condition, and I just hope I can manage to pay the premiums until I qualify for Medicare.



But I am one of the lucky ones, because my cancer was discovered when it was easily curable. Despite the fact that this cancer reveals itself early on, it kills one out of six women who get it. These are the women who can’t afford to go to the doctor when they have the symptoms, and can’t afford the $800 biopsy. Many of these women have insurance like mine, which doesn’t cover regular doctor visits, so by the time they are diagnosed, it’s too late.

It’s not just the uninsured who are dying, it’s also the underinsured. Our health insurance system is broken, and we must fix it before more people die unnecessarily.



Nancy Smith

Carbondale

My brother is Larry Gerbaz, and he is a man of integrity as our late father, Delbert Gerbaz, was before him.

He is innocent as charged and is a scapegoat in his current, high profile arson case.

Reporter Scott Condon has continually portrayed Larry as guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt and because of that, I urge the Aspen Times and Post Independent to assign an unbiased reporter to cover his trial.

I am incensed that the management of these newspapers allows this kind of tabloid, one-sided journalism. What happened to fairness in reporting in the Roaring Fork Valley? Did it die out when the media acquired but one voice through a chain of corporate run papers?

Why isn’t Condon reporting that the Carbondale Fire Department was burning that fateful day as well? Why is he protecting Fire Chief Ron Leach? There were other citizens burning that day as well. Why isn’t he telling their stories?

Condon is singlehandedly attempting to convict my brother with his barrage of stories that perpetuate misinformation about what happened. He is violating all ethical standards in journalism, which I am familiar with because I, too, am a reporter.

Maria Cecile Gerbaz Callier

Arlington, Va.

Even though it’s just one more thing to do, it is our responsibility to do what we can and recycle. So, when the bins at the recycle place are full to the top whose responsibility is it to empty them? It’s discouraging to haul stuff down there only to find someone isn’t doing their part and emptying the bins. Will the right parties step up and help here? It would be greatly appreciated.

Teresa Fish

Silt


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