Since Highlands County has a large senior population, it is in the interest of your readers to guide them where it comes to healthcare and their options.
Medicare advantage has few options here in Highlands County. We were sold United Health Care's Medicare advantage by a local agent. To say that we have been less than satisfied is an understatement, but this week, both my husband and I went to our respective doctors to be told that we could not make another six-month appointment because United Health Care had dropped them. Both of these doctors serve and support our community in a variety of ways.
UHC is vociferous in blaming this move on Obamacare. The reason given to the doctors is that there are "too many" doctors on the plan. (Less doctors, longer waiting times, less care).
The important point is, if you don't find out about this until it is too late to change you will have a shock when you call for an appointment, because United Health Care is hiding this from the patients.
If you want to read about United Health Care go here: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/united_health_care.html.
Barbara A. Riley
No fluoride in water?
It was recently brought to our attention that fluoridation of Avon Park's municipal water supply has been discontinued. This decision was made by City Manager Julian Deleon. This matter was not presented to the city council or the citizens of Avon Park. This is very disconcerting to us as registered dental hygienists and residents of Avon Park.
Water fluoridation, named by the Center for Disease Control as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, has been a major contributor to the decline of the rate of tooth decay.
Today, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20 to 40 percent.
Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.
Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water to an optimal fluoride level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (0.7 - 1.2 parts per million) for the prevention of tooth decay.
Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D, table salt with iodine, and bread and cereals with folic acid.
Studies conducted throughout the past 65 years have consistently shown that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe and effective in preventing dental decay in both children and adults.
With this knowledge, we just cannot support the abolishment of water fluoridation. If it is simply a cost-saving measure, it is our understanding there are government grants to cover these expenses.
We felt compelled to write this letter to the newspaper not only to let the citizens of Avon Park know about the discontinuation of fluoridated water, but also to inform them of the decisions being made without our knowledge!
Sheryl McGrath, RDH, BS
Taryn Todd, RDH