In the Know
WHAT I REALLY KNOW
About Tough Choices
By Judy Diaddigo, Gainesville, Ga.
y conversations with the caseworker
started and ended the same:
“I have a boy,” Larry said.
“We are not taking any more children,” I said.
My husband, Bruce, and I had fostered children for
years. Now we wanted to return to travel, grandchil-
dren and privacy. But with this boy, Larry wouldn’t
give up. We were one of the few families who would
take teenage boys. “I have nowhere else to put him,”
We agreed to
meet the 16-year-
old, but made no
John walked into
the room, I looked
up to see a mouth
full of braces and
a smile that could
melt the hardest
heart. We realized
that we really had
no choice. If we
didn’t take John, he’d be sent to a group home for
boys, away from the school system where he’d been
enrolled his whole life. We had also fallen in love.
It was time to change our lives again. We traded
weekends at the beach for high school football
and basketball games, set another plate at dinner,
stocked up on kid food and converted our guest
room back into a teenage hangout.
That was more than 10 years ago. John has
since graduated from high school, with honors,
and college. He’s an accountant, buying his first
home. When he was 21, we adopted him, adding
to our two children and six grandchildren. There’s
no other way I would have wanted to spend those
years. Raising him has been a privilege.
Your otherwise excellent article about con- trolling funeral costs [“The High Cost of Dy- ing,” October] didn’t mention the least ex- pensive option. My mother was both an avid environmentalist and a lifelong teacher, so when she was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, she decided to donate her body to science as a final gift to education. While some medical schools have small charges (such as paying trans-
portation) for their Willed Body Programs, the one closest to us did not,
and returned her ashes to me about a year later. I have signed up as well,
so someday my husband will have funeral costs for me of $0.00.
, Lewisburg, W.Va.
come between you and your doctor?
Flushing, N. Y.
Room for one more: Judy,
John and Bruce Diaddigo.
In “Safeguarding Medicare” it is stated that
the Medicare “savings” of approximately
$500 billion envisioned in the health care
overhaul bills “are not reductions in ben-
efits.” Does AARP believe that when Medi-
care cuts 14 percent from its payments to
Medicare Advantage plans, the 25 percent
of Medicare recipients who are enrolled in
these plans will not lose benefits?
Staten Island, N. Y.
In “Safeguarding Medicare,” there’s a
glaring red flag. It is this glib phrase:
“paying doctors more for practices
that improve quality of care and save
money.” Who decides what “improved
quality of care” is? How does that not
Health care overhaul
In “Health Reform: Make It Real and
Right” [In the Know, Opinion], Michael
O. Leavitt states that when the govern-
ment negotiates drug prices, “it does
so by saying to drug companies, ‘Either
give me a lower price, or we will not let
Medicare members buy your drug.’ ”
How does this differ from insurance
companies currently telling drug com-
panies to give them a rebate or they will
not put their drugs on the insurance
company drug formulary?
St. Cloud, Minn.
Puzzle Answers (from page 14)
YOUR TURN! Tell us what you really know
about healthy eating.
E-mail your essay of up to 400 words to email@example.com with
your name, phone number and e-mail address. Or mail to “What I
Really Know,” AARP Bulletin, 601 E St. N. W., Washington, DC 20049.
Volume of submissions prevents us from answering all letters.
This is just one exam-
ple of how to connect
the leaves, but there
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