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Stop surprise medical bills

Rep. Dusty Johnson should be proud of his health care work to help South Dakota families. Stopping surprise medical bills would be another feather in his cap.

No family should shoulder a payment dispute between health care providers and insurers. Even if a patient visits an in-network hospital, a provider might call an out-of-network specialist — a decision which should not be any cost to the patient, especially in a large state will a small population like ours.

Fortunately, Congress agrees that payment disputes must be settled by providers and insurers, without surprise costs for patients.

Lawmakers should adopt an independent dispute resolution (IDR) system, which has proven success at the state level. It uses unbiased data to determine fair, competitive rates, and encourages providers and insurers to negotiate in good faith. This incentivizes insurers to expand networks, minimize disputes, and ensure access to care.

Health care is already complex, but our current system makes navigating insurance and treatment both challenging and expensive. An IDR system will reduce complexity for consumers while maintaining competition in the marketplace. IDR should fit right in Rep. Johnson’s wheelhouse — I encourage him to become a champion for this urgently needed policy that will stop surprise medical billing.

Dr. Robert Summerer

Madison

Homeless need a start

I have seen an unfortunate problem in our community. There aren't a lot of places for the homeless and people that are in the cracks to go to for help. Most of these people need financial help. They need a place to be before getting jobs. They can't bathe, sleep and be ready to work. I understand that it's hard to come up with money. But state aid, county aid, something, has to help these people feel better about themselves. So many are good folk just down on their luck. They need just a start.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Rapid City could make that happen? It's a great town. Let's make it better

Karen Holloway

Oelrich

Take off the jersey

It is time for each of us to take off our team jersey. We are not Republicans. We are not Democrats. We are not any other political party. We are Americans, and it is time we start acting like it.

Many of us remember after 9/11 how we realized we Americans suffer from a failure of imagination: We never dreamed anyone could attack us.

We are suffering from that same failure right now: We have a president who attacks the foundations of our democracy every day, openly inviting other countries to meddle in our politics and elections. We cannot countenance this.

It is not just "Trump being Trump." Wake up folks. We are complacently letting our republic be stolen right before our eyes. Republicans are terrified to speak out, and so their silence makes them complicit. Democrats are trying to find the most politically possible way to proceed, accomplishing not much.

I say to you members of Congress: Read the oath you took. You swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We need to tell Thune, Rounds and Johnson that we see what they are doing by not doing, and we have the right to expect better.

And for those of you reading this who think "Oh well just another libtard ranting," let me ask you to look at what is happening. Step out of your Fox News comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to see and hear another viewpoint.

And no, your Republican grandmother won’t roll over in her grave.

And for you (we) Democrats, I say quit playing games and do the right thing regardless of political cost.

This is not about politics. It is about what this country stands for. Speak up loud and clear, whatever jersey you wear.

M.C. Bauder

Rapid City

Derangement syndrome

I have grown tired of countering the endless liberal left comments that are driven by "Trump Derangement Syndrome" and their inability to accept the results of the last presidential election. I am confident that the majority of our population is still sane, believes in common sense, and love of country. When the time comes, that majority will overwhelmingly show up at the ballot box to help keep our country on the right path.

Richard Crabtree

Hermosa

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