Monday letters: Protecting patients with chronic conditions, open space needs and more

Urge Gov. Polis to protect patients with chronic conditions

62% of Coloradans live with at least one chronic condition. It may be your child, sibling, neighbor, or it could be you. As the sponsors of SB23-195, a patient protection bill that will help those living with complex medical conditions afford life-saving prescriptions, we join Coloradans from around the state in asking Gov. Jared Polis to continue protecting patients by signing SB23-195.

This issue is personal for each bill sponsor: Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Perry Will, Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, and Rep. Iman Jodeh. We are proud to be legislators, but first we are just people. Chronic conditions impact all of us, old and young, and certainly all sides of the political spectrum. That is why we joined together to pass this life-saving legislation.

For patients with chronic conditions and their caregivers, affordability is key to adhering to treatment plans. Copay assistance programs have been implemented by drug manufacturers and charitable organizations to help patients meet increasingly high out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. 

Insurers and PBMs have implemented a new barrier to affordable care called copay accumulator adjustment policies. These policies capture copay assistance meant for patients, but don’t count the funds toward patient expenses. When copay assistance isn’t counted toward deductibles or out-of-pocket costs, Coloradans who cannot afford their medication are forced to choose between their health and other necessities for their family, all while knowing that not adhering to their treatment could land them in the emergency room fighting for their life.

Thankfully, Colorado’s policymakers listened to patients from across Colorado speak about what this has meant to their pocketbook and their health and passed SB23-195, bipartisan legislation with over 60 supporting patient and medical provider organizations, to stop these policies and protect all Coloradans. We look forward to being the 18th state to protect patient assistance for the most vulnerable Coloradans.

Sen. Perry Will, R-New Castle

Protect Roaring Fork riverfront while we can

We urge the City of Glenwood Springs to do everything possible to preserve and develop more parks and open space along the Roaring Fork River through town, as urged so eloquently by Hooner Gillespie in his letter of May 17, and Suzanne Stewart in her letter of May 24. The river trail system and parks are heavily used and enjoyed by locals and visitors, for good reason. 

The City used great foresight when it bought up private parcels along the river, and built the 14th Street pedestrian bridge, but there’s more to be done. We have an almost continuous river corridor all the way from Two Rivers Parks to 23rd Street, and ought to keep it intact and improve it, including the confluence area between 8th Street and Two Rivers Park (the old water treatment plant site). 

Our river corridor adds tremendously to Glenwood’s character and quality of life, and we should have the foresight to continue enhancing it while we still have the opportunity.

Glenn and Kris Chadwick, Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs needs more park space

I am writing to express agreement with recent letter writers,  Suzanne Stewart and Don Gillespie, concerning the need to increase park and open space. To my knowledge no new parks have been created within the city recently whereas development and population have exploded. Population increase and traffic with its noise and pollution could be somewhat balanced with thoughtful development of our publicly owned land. The two spaces that the city owns, the North Landing  and all the very beautiful land by the Roaring Fork River could be made into amazing large green hearts for our city.

This spring I was surprised to see how pleasant  the west Glenwood roundabout looked with all the landscaping.. The city (if it was the city) has made the space people drive by in their cars nicer than where one walks and might want to linger.The North Landing has not one tree, bush, bench or flower and the large space along the Rio Grande trail, to the East, is behind barbed wire. These are owned by us, the people, and it would be wonderful if we could  enjoy them. Please ask council to make park space a priority. We have the land; and I believe we have the money.

Barb Coddington, Glenwood Springs

Thanks from the Glenwood Springs Historical Society

On May 19th & 20th, the Historical Society held a Lawn Sale on site at the Museum. The main purpose was to sell those items deemed not appropriate to the scope of our local history. Since nothing happens in a vacuum, it was critical to have the necessary help to make this all happen. Therefore, an enormous “thank you” goes out to the following staff and volunteers: Sharon Haller (Coordinator), Carolyn Cipperly (Archivist), Rob Anderson (Museum Board Member), Barry Dunsdon (Museum Board President), Peg Chandler, Lauraine Skolasinski, Stacee and George Dalrymple, Steve Mills, Martha Cochran, Dale Hancock, Carla Malmquist, Cindy Fishman and Lisa Passmore (Board Member). It was a busy two days and many items were purchased by locals and visitors alike. But,

the big bonus was seeing so many people enjoying the Museum and interacting with staff and volunteers. Thank you, thank you.

Peg Vidakovich (Museum Volunteer), Glenwood Springs

‘They silenced me’

I attended the Roaring Fork School District meeting and signed up early to make sure I could speak. As of the afternoon before the meeting, I was on the published list of speakers. When I arrived at the meeting I was informed by others that I had been removed from the list. Another friend of mine was removed as well. Both of us opposed the new sex education curriculum that was to be voted on that evening. 

I confronted the chairperson on why my name was removed at their personal discretion. She informed me that it is allowed in their policy. I told her that such action was unacceptable. She told me I had spoken at the last meeting on the subject so their discretion was used and my name removed. 

Conveniently, a RFSD transgender teacher has spoken more than once on the subject and was allowed to speak again. Rightfully so. I don’t begrudge that teacher, but don’t rig the public comment time to your advantage and skew the numbers of those who are for and against. When applying to speak, you are asked what your topic is and your position. The RFSD can’t have it both ways. They cannot have access to opinions and then decide who speaks. Yes, I let the whole room know my disgust, but it was before their vote and not because of their vote. 

The disdain of the board for citizens is obvious, and everyone needs to know that the board sets even the public speech agenda. I was upset because they silenced me. The destiny of our little children is now in their hands. God help them.

Jim Tarr, Glenwood Springs

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