People’s Column — April 8

Easter breakfast to benefit Angola camp


Trinity Lutheran Church, Silver Creek wishes to thank the OBSERVER and the community for helping to raise $1,046 at our Easter breakfast. In addition to the many people who showed up for breakfast, local businesses and organizations contributed to this cause. These freewill offerings will be sent to Pioneer Camp and Retreat Center for its Operation Purple project. The camp is located in Angola, NY.

Operation Purple is dedicated to serving children of active duty military. This week of free camping involves children ages 7-17 interacting with other children dealing with the same experiences. These offerings will be matched with a grant Camp Pioneer has received.

Raymond Pratt

Trinity Lutheran Church Council President

Reed needs to address doctor shortage proposal


This flu season is hitting hard. We need a doctor’s care, but that care is hard to find. The U.S. has a severe shortage of doctors, particularly primary care physicians. Why? It’s called “Residency Bottleneck.” There are plenty of medical students but when they graduate and need to secure a residency with a qualified hospital to complete that final step to becoming a foctor many are stopped in their tracks. There are not enough residency programs, hence not enough Doctors.

In May 2014, a young medical student caught in this bottleneck attended one of Congressman Tom Reed’s town meetings in which Mr. Reed encouraged her to send him a letter outlining her solution to the issue. She did. It is a sensible solution. She suggested opening new residency programs within the V.A. with the stipulation that these programs will have lower salaries and require the trainee to remain within the V.A. system for at least five years after training. Medical students gain experience and a Doctorate degree. Hopefully many will choose to practice family medicine once they receive that degree. Meanwhile the V.A. gains a much needed flow of competent medical staff.

Since Congressman Reed claims that he is concerned about healthcare and the welfare of our veterans you would think he would immediately pursue this. What was his response to this letter? Silence.

At a town meeting in 2017 the letter was placed in Mr. Reed’s hands, his response — silence. At another town meeting later that year he received the same letter. His response? Again, silence. As recent as January 2018 the letter was given to his staff at a community meeting — still silence.

Silence. This how our congressman treats his constituents. If an issue, like this critical doctor shortage, is not part of his personal political agenda he ignores it. He will give attention to a Congressional Diabetes Caucus because his son has diabetes. He will do what he can take away healthcare for the poor and elderly by scaling back Medicaid and Medicare to appear “fiscally responsible” while running up a 1.5 trillion deficit. He will legislatively bolster health insurers because insurance companies contribute the bulk of the contributions to his 1.8 million dollar campaign fund and the Reed Collection Agency makes money collecting health insurance debts.

Remember midterm elections are this November. Don’t re-elect a man that treats you with silence. You can choose someone who will listen to and answer your concerns on issues that affect your lives.


Conewango Valley