Byrnes made world a kinder, better place

The fragile and fleeting nature of our existence often only encompasses us when a loved one dies. The recent death of Monsignor Paul Byrnes surely was such a sign post for all who knew him.

I had known monsignor since I was a boy, who served his first Mass at St. Mary’s in Lonaconing.

He spent his life as a priest — he gave counsel to the youth; comfort to the sick and dying; and kindness and understanding to all the people he met.

His legacy is a testament to his mother and father. Few people make this world a kinder and better place. Paul Byrnes did. He made the Catholic Church what it should be.

We are all diminished by his leaving this world. But another Paul, St. Paul, reminds us all, “Faith, Hope and Love Remain.”

Requiescat In Pace, Monsignor.

Ray Miller


Medicare cutting payments to specialty providers

When you visit a physical or occupational therapist, you’re visiting a specialty provider who can help you move better and manage your pain without potentially dangerous medications. Typically, an entire course of treatment with a therapist costs less than any number of treatments provided in hospitals.

On Jan. 1, Medicare plans to make significant payment cuts to therapists and over 30 other specialty providers, some as high as 11%, despite bipartisan opposition. Cuts of this magnitude will result in provider closures and restricted access to care.

Specialty professionals are critical for older Americans — especially in the context of an unprecedented public health emergency. Without access to these providers, Medicare patients will be forced to seek specialty care in more expensive settings, including the hospital.

As we live through the COVID-19 crisis, we deserve a health system that is stable and reliable. Cutting health care payments during a health care crisis is bad policy. It’s time to block these cuts.

Jenn Brougher

Somerset, Pa.

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