The Billings Outpost

Health care charade

Some months ago we were treated to an example of government imposition of its will on religious rights and American women’s health decisions. In January 2012 I also feel my civil/health rights were ignored.

I attended a presentation by my Montana-owned Advantage plan provider. The insurance company representative told me that visits to Billings Clinic physicians were covered. I am very uncomfortable with traditional doctors who treat symptoms and do not involve the patient in the healing process.

I asked specifically about a naturopath and he repeated “services ... were covered.” Following my visit to the naturopath, the insurance company refused to pay, stating that “Medicare does not fund naturopaths.” They said that Billings Clinic’s policy is that it “always” warns Medicare patients that naturopaths are not covered. They did not warn me.

Eight months later I have finally received word that my appeal in the matter has been denied.

The government and New Northwest Insurance are determining for me who is acceptable and who is not. Worse, New Northwest did not stand by the word of its employee, while the government determines what is and is not valid treatment. This is not health care; it is a charade.

Mana Lesman Seward


Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 21:46

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Set medical funds aside

We hear about how everyone fears Obamacare. Yet I haven’t seen anything different in healthcare or the costs of both insurance as well as care. For example, insurance companies are still charging large premiums and/or requiring pre-approval for some surgery or some things just are not covered.

My wife had a job with benefits. She could keep the insurance for $600 or so a month. At $7,200 per year, that is a lot of preventive health care and doctor visits. But, even with insurance, we have community fund-raisers to help our friends and neighbors with their medical expenses.

Our government moves slow and most programs don’t help the people the programs were meant to help.

We need to set up a community medical fund at our banks and churches for emergency medical expenses. If everyone were to put in $15-$20 a month or more if they had a windfall, there would be a nice sum of money to help out others.

Who knows the day you may need help?

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 20:41

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Three years of waiting

In a letter published in the Missoulian back in May 2009, I wrote the following: It’s a crisis, people; act like it. Are we hypnotized, or are we robots, or maybe puppets? There is something wrong. How can we be so gullible, and so naive, as to let what is happening go on without the biggest and loudest outcry that this country has ever heard? What the hell is wrong with our thinking? With our knowledge of what is right?

Now, here we are three years later and in the same mess. Why? No, this isn’t an “I told you so letter.” My reason for writing letters, then and now, is simply my hope to inform. Most of us know that our government is in disastrous financial shape, which should be of great concern to all of us regarding our country’s future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

We have an economy with too little savings and production, and too much borrowing and consumption. We have vacant stores; banks not loaning enough to entrepreneurs to buy equipment; and we have too many tax-takers riding in the wagon, and not enough taxpayers pulling it. And yet we have Montana legislators today that say we must wait for the federal government to act before we can do anything. Yes, they say, “Wait for Washington to do something.”

I say, “BS”! We don’t need “do nothing” legislators. Montanans are eager to work. They would rather be “pulling” than “riding.” What we need is to elect legislators who will streamline the process so as to allow new businesses to begin and the existing ones to expand. Sure, we want regulations to protect the environment, but we don’t need power hungry bureaucrats that think they know more than the businessman. Vote for progress. Vote principle, not emotion.

Fred Carl



Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 20:40

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GOP cuts spending

It takes a lot of chutzpah to criticize the Republican Legislature for not spending enough and then turn around and brag about the great fiscal shape the state of Montana is in. But that’s Brian Schweitzer.

However, it is important for Montana voters to know that if it were up to the Democrats in the state Legislature, the state of Montana would be broke and in greater debt.

In amendments to House Bill 2 made on the floor of the Senate in 2011, our Democrat friends across the aisle proposed spending an additional $360 million. That does not include even more spending amendments made in the Finance Committee. And it does not include the $100 million in new spending and long-term debt that 100 percent of the Democrats supported in HB 439.

If the Democrats were in charge in the Montana Legislature, the state would be as broke and in debt as we are under the Democrats in Washington.

Montana needs to keep a Republican Legislature so that we don’t drive over the fiscal cliff.

I am happy that the state is running a surplus and I haven’t noticed that the wheels of government have ground to a halt. Excess funds should be returned to the taxpayer as proposed in Legislative Referendum 123 so people can spend it on their families, invest in their business or employees, or give it to their favorite charity.

Republicans will continue to keep a sharp eye on public spending.

Jeff Essmann

Montana Senate Majority Leader



Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 20:39

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No playing in dirt

I’d like to refer to a few statements that Lauris Byxbe wrote in the July 26 issue of The Outpost. Lauris wrote that “Farmers and gardeners love playing in the dirt.”

The truth is that they WORK THE SOIL for their livelihood, for many long hours and sometimes in difficult and even dangerous situations.

I have never heard of a farmer playing in the dirt.

Children do that.

Robert Flanagan



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:45

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Support Honor Flight

I had the privilege of assisting the veterans when they arrived at the Billings airport for the inaugural Big Sky Honor Flight out of Montana. There were 97 veterans, along with family and friends.

This is a chartered flight program which flies Montana veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the World War II Memorial. The average age of the veterans on this flight was 93. What an opportunity the trip was for them! There are still 200 Montana veterans waiting to take an Honor Flight.

There is a saying, “We fill a bucket one drop at a time.” I would like to encourage everyone who can to send a donation, however large or small, to the Big Sky Honor Flight program. Time may be running out for some of these veterans and we can help them.

Donations may be made to: Big Sky Honor Flight, P.O. Box 80201, Billings, MT 59108 or by visiting their website at:

Dawn Lofthouse



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:43

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