Letters to the editor March 4

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Negative impacts of fluoridation

According to Kianna Gardner’s Feb. 16 article, “Montana Gets Poor Checkup for Dental Health,” about a recent study on dental health by state, “One major impact is fluoridation, or the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply in order to reduce tooth decay.” Gardner quotes Wendy Taber of Flathead Community Health Center Dental Clinic: “[fluoridated] water is so controversial, but it’s actually completely safe.”

I have BAs in biology and chemistry and four years of graduate work in chemistry, and I know fluoride has many negative impacts on our body’s health, including but not limited to:

• Disrupts the endocrine system, affecting bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and blood sugar levels

• Increased lead absorption, which can affect behavior, learning ability, and IQ of children

• Disrupts body rhythms and wake-sleep cycles (by calcifying the pineal gland)

• Harms male and female fertility

• Is bad for kidney health

• Causes cardiovascular inflammation

• Muscle disorders

• Arthritis

• Bone fractures

• Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)

• Disrupts immune system

• Causes under-active thyroid by replacing essential iodine with fluorine

• Links to brain damage, including dementia or Alzheimer’s (according to Over 34 human and 100 animal studies;

• Disrupts synthesis of collagen

• Inactivates 62 enzymes and inhibits more than 100 enzymes

• Increased tumor and cancer rate

This information is sourced from Global Healing Center, Fluoride Action Network and Fluoride Alert.

Comprehensive data from World Health Organization reveals “no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of western nations that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not. In fact, tooth decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries are now lower than those in fluoridated countries.

—Catherine Haug, Bigfork

Keep Medicaid expansion

I’ve been working on farms in the Flathead for four years. Working in agriculture, I have never been offered health care through my employer.

The farm owners I worked for most recently did encourage all their farmhands to apply for Medicaid or health care through the Affordable Care Act if they don’t already have health insurance. They have in the past paid for tetanus shots out of their pocket for employees and help them navigate the system to secure affordable health care.

This is unusual in part-time/seasonal work. Most employers can’t afford to help pay for their employees health care needs or help them secure their own health care.

Medicaid expansion has provided me valuable health coverage while I have been farming and working seasonally. Through my Medicaid coverage, I was able to cover the gap between my prior health insurance through an AmeriCorps program and the coverage I later received through the ACA. I was able to have regular checkups that I would have otherwise skipped and I was able to afford the physical therapy visits I needed in recovering from a shoulder injury.

I ask my Montana legislators to continue Medicaid expansion. Health coverage is so important, especially for those of us whose physical health is necessary for our work and who work outside, seasonally, and in more rural areas of the state.

I am proud of what I do for a living. I love it. And I need to be healthy and strong to do it. I don’t want to be punished for my work that doesn’t offer insurance coverage. Work and reporting requirements will only kick people off of their health care and leave seasonal workers with less financially certain futures.

Keep Medicaid expansion – ditch the punitive changes that would only hurt workers like me.

—Whitney Pratt, Whitefish

No free Medicare

For those who want free Medicare for all, be advised there is no free Medicare now for anyone.

Medicare started in 1965, the same year I joined the work force. I worked 37 years and paid toward Medicare for all 37 years. Once I retired, I pay an annual premium for Medicare and an additional premium to cover the 20 percent that Medicare does not cover.

If our Government wants to OK free Medicare for all, I want a refund of all the money I paid in over the years so that I would be covered. I think all who paid in over the years should get a refund.

I wonder if the people who are in favor of Medicare for all and those who respond to poll questions know Medicare has premiums and deductibles. Just like the people who receive Social Security benefits, they paid into the system for years to have those benefits available. I wonder if people who are asked poll questions know this?

For all the politicians running for president suggesting Medicare for all, are they telling the voters there are premiums? Maybe they want to not have premiums?

—Bob Sadler, Kalispell

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