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Letters to the editor – Thursday (6-18-09)

Senior citizens, beware of health-care reforms
To my fellow senior citizens and those who want professional health care when needed: The folks you voted for in Washington are making serious changes in our current health-care system. Your president is demanding benefit cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, which you pay for out of your monthly Social Security check. By the way, Congress is not going to give us a cost of living raise next year so we’ll have to stretch our money further.
Congress is working on a new government-managed health-care system bill that will negatively impact all of us. The author of part of the bill, former senator and tax evader Tom Daschle, was credited today by Bloomberg with the following statement.
Bloomberg’s commentary: “Daschle says health-care reform ‘will not be pain free.’ Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.”
Basically, this means if you are a senior and are in need of a doctor, forget it, stay sick and let nature do its thing. The government doesn’t want to pay for your health care since you are going to die eventually anyway.
If this does not sufficiently raise your ire, just remember that your senators and congressmen have their own health-care plan, which has a very low co-pay. Their plan is guaranteed for the remainder of their lives and is not subject to this new law, if it passes.
If any of this concerns you, please write, call or e-mail your senators and congressmen and tell them to vote against any government-managed health care bill or Obama’s demand for reductions in Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
And as for you younger folks, is this what you want to look forward to?
ó Donald Schumacher
Salisbury
Use lottery to avoid cuts
North Carolina has an education lottery. My question is, what happened to the money it was supposed to produce for our states school system?
If it has produced millions, why hasn’t any of it been used to save our teachers’ jobs? I wonder if some people are lining their pockets with it. Why aren’t we using this money to help pay teachers’ salaries until the economy improves?
My son goes to a local high school, and I would hate to see his education suffer because our govenor would rather cut money and teachers from our schools than from, say, her own big fat pay check! I say we all need to ask our local and state politicians to check into alternatives to cutting teachers’ jobs before the future of our children’s education goes by the wayside! Our children need an educaton and cuuting jobs will not help.
ó J.M. Casper
Cleveland
What are our priorities?
I am an occupational therapist and co-owner of a pediatric private practice based in Rowan county. I am extremely concerned about the proposed budget under consideration by our state’s leaders. This budget seeks to have our children bear the burden of this economic crisis in the form of severe cuts to education and healthcare. There are proposed drastic reductions in reimbursement for Medicaid recipients, which directly affects my clients and staff. Reimbursement for therapy services for children with Medicaid would be so significantly limited under the budget proposal that my company would be forced to close.
Is it fair that we ask the most vulnerable among us to fight this fight? The state budget is a moral document: it is meant to portray the needs and priorities of the citizens. Is it our priority to drive vital contributors out of this state by putting tens of thousands of therapists out of work and by denying our children the therapy services they require to grow and develop? Shouldn’t our priority be to first determine the needs of the citizens and then analyze dollars and cents to make it happen?
We need a more balanced approach in the form of increased revenue and more moderate spending cuts. The proposed increases in revenue are all reasonable. These include increased liquor tax, a quarter-penny sales tax increase, a sales tax on services such as ringtone downloads and increased income tax for the wealthy.
Please go to www.ncleg.net, find and contact your senators and representatives and let them know we must find ways to increase revenue o take care of our children. It does not matter to our children whether we’re on the “left” or the “right”; but whether or not we keep them in the “center” of this debate will make all the difference in their lives.
ó Ashley Deaton
Salisbury
General aviation at risk?
Each month, volunteer pilots from Grace Flight fly patients needing specialized medical care to hospitals throughout Texas. Many of these patients from rural areas would otherwise be hard-pressed to receive the care they need.
These flights are part of General Aviation (GA), which includes all flying except the scheduled airlines and military. Right now GA is being imperiled by misguided plans in Washington, D.C., that propose new costs and regulations.
If these proposals are enacted, the outlook could be grim for Grace Flight patients, as well as for millions of other people throughout the country who depend on general aviation for services and jobs.
With an estimated 65 percent of GA flights conducted for public service and business, many industries and services would be affected, including agriculture, emergency medical evacuation, law enforcement, aerial fire-fighting, package delivery and the Civil Air Patrol.
Recently, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association launched GA Serves America. The goal of this national grassroots campaign is to educate policymakers, opinion leaders and the public about the vital role GA plays in our local communities and the nation’s economy. To learn more about GA Serves America, visit www.gaservesamerica.com.
ó Craig Fuller
Frederick, Md.
Fuller is president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc.

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