Letters to the Editor

DNA cancer test waste of Medicare funds

Every day, every month, there are events around the country focused on seniors. Recently, my husband and I attended one sponsored by Boomer Times. While there, we were approached by a vendor offering “free” DNA testing. The tests do not find or diagnose cancer, only whether you have a genetic marker for certain cancers. Don’t worry, they said, Medicare and/or your insurance will pay for it. Seniors were lining up for a cheek swab test.

Weeks later, my husband received a letter from Genexe Health. The cost for the test was $23,460.72. His insurance paid $8,863.97.

Needless to say, we were shocked. The National Institute of Health website states these tests only look for a chance of a particular type of cancer occurring. The testing should be ordered by your doctor as medically necessary. These vendors don’t fall into that category, yet, Medicare was billed and supplemental insurance paid.

Most seniors already know their family history or have reached an age where their physician would order the test if there was an increased risk and reason to do so. A Google search of Genexe reveals concerns about the personal information that one must provide to a company and the risk of misuse of the information. With hundreds of people a day getting the free test at sites all over the country, the cost is staggering.

How is this testing approved with no questions asked, with no medical necessity, by a private vendor in a booth, telling hundreds of seniors daily that it is free? This is absurd.

There is such a need for real medical care and treatment, yet these private companies have found a way to get millions of dollars for tests that diagnose nothing. I raised this question with my Congressional representatives but have no response.

We are all paying for this abuse. Let’s stop it.

Sharon Berg,

West Palm Beach

Preventable deaths

Three children died this week after accidentally being left in hot vehicles — 1-year-old twins in New York and a 2-year-old in South Florida. A bill, called Hot Cars, was introduced by Ohio U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan in 2017 to prevent such tragedies. This bill now has bipartisan support. It requires all vehicles to be equipped with an alarm system that notifies the driver if a baby or toddler remains in the car seat when the car is turned off. Unfortunately, this bill once again did not pass.

Where are our priorities? How could this bill fail?

Barbara Hochman,


Move on and unite

Barring future misdeeds, it seems clear there is no path forward for successfully impeaching the president. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but with only 15 months to the next election, a divided Congress and Robert Mueller stating a sitting president cannot be indicted, impeachment is a dea-end proposition.

Therefore, I implore all Democrats, from presidential candidates, senators and representatives on down to voters to focus on electing a Democratic president in 2020, gaining a majority in the Senate and maintaining a majority in the House.

Also important is increasing voter eligibility, state and local elections, and seating a more-progressive judiciary on all levels.

Any of the current presidential candidates are preferable to President Trump, so let’s not get so weighed down in minor differences that we lose sight of the big picture. After a successful 2020 election, we can deal with indicting ex-President Trump, improving environmental controls, immigration issues, improving healthcare, etc.

Brenna Fredrick,

Cooper City

Seaweed summer

Re the July 30 front-page story “Facing ‘crisis,’ county prepares to haul away seaweed:” Sargassum (seaweed) inundating our shores is a vivid reminder that we are not the only species on Earth that has embedded within it the force to survive.

As we contaminate the air, soil, rivers and oceans, some species may still survive.

In our arrogance, we ought not to assume it will be us. Perhaps, it will be seaweed.

John Dasburg, Key Biscayne

Truth booth

In the future, presidential candidates should avoid theatrics during debates.

Put each candidate in a soundproof booth and have each answer the questions asked so they can concentrate on their own ideas and proposals and avoid spending time trying to outdo each other.

Plenty of commentators, journalists and fact-finders can later opine on the various ideas. No time wasted.

Silvia Leon,

West Kendall

Trump was right

After months of excoriating President Trump and his administration through frequent editorials and biased columns regarding the administration’s response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, we find out through leaked text messages and emails among politicians on the island that all along, the president was right.

Billions of dollars in aid had been misappropriated, misused and not properly distributed.

The Miami Herald and the rest of the mainstream media elevated San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to heroic heights. Now we learn she is under federal investigation for alleged corruption, during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

As expected, Herald columnists and editorials condemn the political corruption on the island.

Armando Caravia,

West Miami

Soapbox orator

Donald Trump is a master of public relations. He uses this skill to dominate the news. Democrats lack the bully pulpit that is granted to each American president and so are unable to counteract the fact that being president automatically makes anything you say a news item.

Being chairman of the House Investigations Committee or any other House Committee is not a bully pulpit. No one, not even a voter who fully agrees with your political position, is likely to seek out or pay attention to what you say regardless of how newsworthy the statement. On the other hand, if the committee commences an impeachment investigation or impeachment proceedings, it will be the headline on every newspaper.

It is for the above reasons that I disagree with the July 30 editorial, ”Give up on impeaching, Democrats. Focus on 2020.”

Impeachment proceedings will dominate the news no matter how bizarre Trump’s tweets. Impeachment will not win in the Senate. What now passes for a Republican senator is too terrified of the thought of Trump supporting an opponent in the 2020 primary, no matter how convincing the evidence of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. That really doesn’t matter, although the cowardice may move a few Senate seats.

The real gain will be the opportunity for the Democrats to publicize Trump’s wrongdoing with a voice just as loud as that of the bully pulpit.

Arnold Slotkin,


Many tainted hands

After reading the July 29 Herald article “Millions in campaign cash, billions of pills fueled Florida’s crisis,” I could only assume that Democratic politicians did not receive any campaign contributions from Publix, Walgreens and the other companies mentioned.

Let’s tell both sides of the story.

R.A. Garrity, Miami

It’s not a show

Let’s be clear. Running a government is not like hosting a reality show.

Regardless of which side of the aisle we sit, can we agree that the president’s mocking outbursts against individuals, groups and governmental agencies both in the United States and out, are harmful? Not only do they divide us, they cause us to lose the trust and respect of others in the free world.

Could that be the intent? We, the people, deserve better.

Fran Aronovitz,


Go back? You first!

President Trump should go back to the “disgusting, rat- and rodent-infested mess” in his own hometown, New York City. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Paul C. Hunt,

South Miami

Hurry up and wait

President Trump wants rap artist A$AP Rocky released ASAP.

He wants the children in detention released ASAP, too — As Slowly As Possible.

Good thing Rocky is not being held in one of Trump’s detention centers.

Barry Lincoln,

Hillsboro Beach

Second guessing

I can’t believe Ultra is returning!

Miami commissioners cannot be decisive about anything. Where will it end?

Doug Kostowski,