Part­ner with Cleve­land on a re­gional air­port

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Forum -

Re­gard­ing “In­ter­na­tional Air­port May Get Big Makeover” (Sept. 13):

A bil­lion dol­lars could get spent on this im­por­tant fa­cil­ity, but it will re­main with its orig­i­nal prob­lem: Our lo­cal re­gion is too small to sup­port the non­stop and in­ex­pen­sive flights we need. Cleve­land also has lim­ited choices in flights, so we would all win if in­stead we part­ner with Ohio and Cleve­land to build a big­ger air­port for both cities some­where around Youngstown near the bor­der. To make it work we would add high-speed rail from Pitts­burgh to Cleve­land stop­ping at this new and big­ger air­port ev­ery half-hour.

Pitts­burgh and Cleve­land, Penn­syl­va­nia and Ohio, should work to set up re­gional author­i­ties like the Port Au­thor­ity of New York and New Jersey for plan­ning and fund­ing. This could cost much more than a bil­lion dol­lars, but it would be a plan with a fu­ture. ARTHUR DAVID­SON


How­ever, em­ploy­ees choos­ing high de­ductible plans are forced to “roll the dice” and wa­ger their fam­ily mem­bers will not ex­pe­ri­ence a health care emer­gency and face high out-of­pocket costs for treat­ment and pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion be­fore in­sur­ance cov­er­age be­comes avail­able. Con­versely, em­ploy­ees who are older or who ex­pe­ri­ence chronic health care prob­lems can end up pay­ing higher pre­mi­ums when a higher de­ductible plan is a bet­ter fit.

There is mount­ing ev­i­dence that em­ploy­ees do not un­der­stand the nu­ances and “small print”of plans avail­able to them.

It is in­cum­bent on em­ploy­ers to spon­sor well-de­signed health ben­e­fits ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams that are not sim­ply “white noise.” Ul­ti­mately, it is the em­ployee who pays in the long run in the form of higher out-of­pocket ex­penses or higher pre­mi­ums. MARK D. ED­WARDS


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