Letters to the Editor

12/31 Letters: New Common Core math guidelines cause confusion

Regarding “Math teaching gets new formula” (Dec. 22): Understanding a concept is fine as long as it leads to the correct answer. However, the correct answer should be the ultimate goal and more important than how you got it. One teacher said she sometimes told a student their incorrect answer was “OK” if they “could show they have a deep understanding or the concept.”

To quote my daughter, a certified registered nurse anesthetist , that’s like saying, “Anesthesia providers don’t need to arrive at the correct answer when calculating dosages for patients, architects don’t need to arrive at the correct answer when calculating angles, engineers don’t need to arrive at the correct answer when calculating structural strength, aeronautical personnel don’t need to arrive at the correct answer when calculating fuel use, oxygen consumption or re-entry coordinates as long as they understand the concept.”

I believe I have a “deep understanding of the concept” of this program. As an operating room nurse, I an tell you, it’s like the old joke, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.”

Cecelia Davis


Amend ACA

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to reduce emergency room utilization yet according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patient emergency room visits rose to a record high of 141.4 million in 2014, the same year the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion went into effect. The 141.4 million ER visits in 2014 represent a 10 million increase from 2013. The American College of Emergency Physicians believes the number of ER visits exceeded 150 million in 2015 once final numbers are released.

These results contradict policy experts’ assertions that unnecessary ER use would decline as more people gained access to health insurance under the ACA. The hope was that newly insured individuals would rely less on the ER because they could seek out preventive services and primary care, but for the first time, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries accounted for the bulk of ER visits at 34.9 percent.

There are many reasons for the failure of the ACA to reduce ER utilization, refusal of primary care providers to see Medicaid patients due to the slow payments from the government and lack of understanding how to access care to name two. One thing is clear, this is further evidence that if the ACA is to survive it must be amended. This will require a bipartisan effort that puts the needs of our residents ahead of the needs of individual political parties.

Scott Dillon