Local hospital relationship unhealthy

During a recent serious illness of a close family member, we encountered first-hand the harmful effects of the dissolution of the relationship between Marshfield Clinic Health System and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. In short, if you have a Marshfield Clinic primary care physician, you had better not find yourself a patient at Sacred Heart because your doctor will absolutely not be able to care for you.

Our family member, through unfortunate circumstances, was admitted to Sacred Heart. His primary care physician, a wonderful and caring Marshfield Clinic doctor, was not notified of his patient’s admittance. Furthermore, after we consulted with the physician, we were told that he couldn’t see our relative because Marshfield Clinic doctors no longer had hospital privileges at Sacred Heart Hospital.

We are not taking a position in the legal dispute between Marshfield Clinic and Sacred Heart Hospital that centers on the new hospital Marshfield Clinic built in the shadow of Sacred Heart. We are taking the position that it is unconscionable for such economic disputes to adversely impact the care patients receive. We would hope that the care of a patient takes precedence over economic considerations. If that was the case, Marshfield Clinic doctors would still be welcomed at Sacred Heart if their patients ended up there.

We call on the leaders of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Marshfield Clinic Health System to come to an agreement that puts the care of patients first by allowing physicians affiliated with each of their systems to see patients in their rival’s facilities. An earlier version of the Hippocratic oath admonished physicians: “I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm ... “ The current state of relations between Sacred Heart Hospital and Marshfield Clinic is a clear violation of that oath.

Sue Kittelson and Doug Mell

Eau Caire

Medicaid expansion a plus for region

GOP legislators, including Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, have pledged to remove BadgerCare expansion from the governor’s budget.

They planned to do this on May 9, by removing a key provision that would accept federal funds for health care coverage for persons up to 138 percent of the poverty level. This means $101 million for health care services, to cover an estimated 3,726 families in Chippewa, Clark, Dunn and Eau Claire counties, according to a recent report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. For the first 10 years, the federal government covers 100 percent of the cost; after that, the state would pay 10 percent of the cost.

Expanding access to BadgerCare for working families who are struggling to make ends meet in this economy is the right, moral and humane thing to do. If we have the means to protect hard-working and tax-paying families and their children by providing them access to affordable health care, why would we not do it?

Medicaid expansion has been accepted in many other states, including so-called “red” states, simply because it makes economic sense. Right now, federal funds which could be used here in Wisconsin, that is, Wisconsin taxpayers’ money, are going to subsidize expanded Medicaid in other states. The economic impact of a $101 million investment in this region of the state is enormous.

Call your senator and representatives today. Ask that they keep BadgerCare expansion in the state budget.

Nick Smiar

Eau Claire

Extremists are a distinct minority

Sadly, suicide bombing, radicalization and Islamophobia are eating the moral fabric of our society. Collective effort is required to discourage this fanatic mentality and foster feelings of sympathy, compassion and loyalty.

Unfortunately, phrases like “Islamic terrorism” or “radical Islamic terrorism” circulate in the media and are causing Islamophobia. Journalists, politicians and interest groups are molding public opinion through art, books, magazines, media outlets and are disseminating uncertainty regarding Islam, which is merely an ideology like Christianity or Judaism. This act is disturbing the peace of our world.

How could one criticize and label the doctrine of 24 percent of the world’s population as extreme due to the wild activities of extremists? Instead, why don’t we make efforts to find the truth? Why don’t we spread the true ideology so that before a person detonates himself he knows this would not help him earn heaven when serving humanity would.

As a member of Ahmadiyya Muslim community founded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, I share with fellow members that Islam means peace and Prophet Muhammad said, “A believer is someone from whom property and lives of others are safe.” Extremists use the same Quran to spread chaos but Quran claims that none of its verses contradicts with each other and it clearly says, “ ... whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

People with extreme ideologies exist among all belief systems, but what sense does it make to attach an individual’s act of crime with religion? We need to address the root cause of radicalization and Islamophobia.

Rafia Mansoor Waraich

Altoona