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Letters to the editor – Monday (10-5-09)

Health reform must include care for senior citizens
I am writing to express my concern that the health care discussion in Washington, D.C., has overlooked the large and growing demand for long-term medical, nursing, and rehabilitative care, especially for North Carolina’s increasing numbers of older adults.
Across North Carolina there are more than 400 nursing homes that care for close to 40,000 residents. Here in Salisbury, and across our state, Lutheran Services for the Aging serves more than 1,100 North Carolinians every day. Our mission is to express God’s love in Christ to all we serve. Rowan County sees that daily at LSA’s Lutheran Home, Trinity Oaks and Abundant Living Adult Day Services.
Seniors rely on the care provided in nursing homes to rehabilitate and return them to their homes. This is why the impact that health care reform will have on senior care must be taken into account.
A significant percentage of nursing home residents rely on both Medicare and Medicaid for their care each year. However, nursing homes are facing larger reductions than other Medicare providers. Cuts to Medicare funding in the health care reform bills amount to more than $32 billion over 10 years. In North Carolina alone, these cuts would amount to $1.25 billion.
National health care reform can be more than just an opportunity to lower costs. It can also encourage improvements in how we deliver health care, especially to our seniors.
Congress should reconsider significant reductions to Medicare and protect seniors here in our community and throughout North Carolina.
ó Ted Goins
Salisbury
Goins is president of Lutheran Services for the Aging.President’s health plan will work
To whom it may concern. Our health care system is lacking in so many ways. Why can’t everyone afford to get the health care they need? No one should have to suffer in pain or die or not get the treatment they need because they cannot afford health care due to lack of insurance.
Large insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have been on top for too long. It is our turn as Americans to get the care we deserve, rich or poor. When I was 13 years old, my mother was turned away from a hospital in Texas. She went into the emergency room feeling horrible; her complexion was grayish, and she was throwing up uncontrollably. She did not have insurance. They told her it was nothing, and sent her home.
An hour later her gall bladder ruptured, and she was rushed to a different hospital, almost an hour away, where my aunt worked as a nurse. She could have died.
Why did this happen? Because she did not have insurance. Why didn’t she have insurance? She couldn’t afford it!
I urge you to give President Obama’s plan a second look. There are so many misconceptions floating around. The plan will work. It will not take away people’s current coverage. It will simply work better for the American people rather than the insurance companies. Why should they be making billions of dollars every year while people’s mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are dying every day in this country because they cannot afford insurance and decent health care..
ó Ashlee Moseley
Albemarle
Neglected animals are a nuisance
I am writing regarding the trapping of the cats. First, I do agree that if a pet wearing tags is received at the shelter, it should not be placed with stray, feral animals. A rabies tag can be used by shelter workers to locate and contact the owner. Maybe a previous letter writer is not aware that birds do not carry rabies. Cats, dogs, raccoons, skunks and foxes are the main carriers of rabies. I wish that people would be as involved about rabies protection as they are about these cats.
If these cats are loved pets, then they should be inside, safe from traffic, weather, dogs and traps, etc. I have two cats that don’t annoy my neighbors. People who like feeding and watching birds do not want neighbors’ cats intruding or killing these birds. Cats disturb birds and can prevent them from nesting. Baby birds are easy prey.
My friend also enjoys birds. Her cat is properly cared for (rabies vaccine, spayed, flea protection). Her neighbor has several cats that kill birds, walk on her car and mess in her yard. We have the right to enjoy birds, not have scratched cars or have to deal with the fleas that come with cats that are not cared for properly. Cats can’t be trapped if they’re indoors. Cat collars need a bell to warn birds if the cat must be outside.
I have trapped feral cats. Wild cats are dangerous due to rabies risk and the breeding of more cats. In one summer, I trapped 11 feral cats. Tame cats were always released.
Please take care of your pets. Rabies vaccinations protect your family members and your pets. Also, dogs on chains can’t escape rabid animals. State law and good sense mean protecting all of us from rabies.
A rabies clinic will be held Nov. 21. Please assure that your pet will be safe if confronted by rabid animal.
ó Beth Myers
Salisbury
Pet owners, please control your dogs
Male dogs are coming into our yard, tearing up our flower beds, defecating on our lawn, urinating on our shrubs and planters, taking brand new cushions off our porch furniture and into the woods, carrying off various boots/shoes left on the patio ó all because our female dogs are in heat and you are ignoring the leash law and letting your male dogs run free.
We were surprised when we called animal control about these dogs and were told that even though our female dogs are confined in fenced lots, when they’re in heat we have to keep them inside or possibly face a $50 fine because a male dog can sense them up to 5 miles away and will try to get to them. We’ve been keeping our dogs in the house, although they do have to go outside to potty ó but you’ve been letting your dogs out at dusk to run the countryside, and they are turning up at our house (particularly a black lab mix) about the same time every evening.
One of our dogs took off after yours one night when we took her outside to potty and our dog was gone for four days, causing us much anxiety since she’s an older dog with a bad hip and never been out on her own. This little episode most probably will cost us dearly in vet fees! So in effect, be responsible for your pet and don’t let him wander. Spare yourself the anxiety of wondering if your dog is ever coming back home.
Just a warning: We are responsible for keeping our dogs safe on our property. We are not responsible for yours!
ó Sharon Thigpen
China Grove
It’s a pleasure to drive in Salisbury
The newly paved streets in Salisbury are wonderful! It is so nice not to be bumping and bouncing through town. Thanks to the crews that worked through several nights to repave West Innes Street while we slept. The job was done quickly and with a minimum of inconvenience to drivers.
Also, as I have traveled outside of Salisbury lately, I have noticed that gas prices are lowest right here at home. This is a pleasant change from several months back when there were constant complaints on the opinion page about Salisbury gas stations charging more than surrounding areas. As a daily driver, I have noticed and appreciate the changes. Keep those positive changes coming!
ó Anita Girelli
Salisbury

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