Sunday, December 8, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
Removing traffic lights along parts of Congress Street will allow drivers “to zoom through the downtown Arts District,” eroding the pedestrian-friendly environment for which the city has become known, a reader says.
2013 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski
Congress can find options to cutting care for neediest
As I am watching the current budget debates, both nationally and here in Maine, I have been moved to write my first letter to the editor.
I am new to Medicare, so the assaults on the social program are personal for me.
I am one of the more than 3,000 Mainers who live with the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. I did not choose to get this disease, but I am going to fight to maintain my health and quality of life.
Let's not confuse assaults on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security with legitimate efforts to reduce government waste.
Efforts to take away benefits under the guise of deficit reduction are an attack on some of the nation's most vulnerable residents. It would be unconscionable to throw them under the bus just so we can lighten the burden on the wealthiest.
If Congress is serious about cutting health care costs, there are alternatives to cuts that harm our most vulnerable citizens.
For instance, they could bring pharmaceutical companies to the table to negotiate lower drug prices. Americans pay more for prescriptions than any other nation.
Tremendous cost savings can be achieved by leveraging the mass purchasing power of Medicaid and Medicare. Isn't that what savvy corporations like Walmart do?
I urge our congressional representatives and senators to consider saner, less punitive options.
Foreign countries get relief while those here do without
Recently I happened to be watching CNN and saw where John Kerry, the new secretary of state, had offered the Syrian rebels $60 million to help combat the Syrian government. The next piece of news was that with the budget cuts, they were going to cut one meal a day on Meals on Wheels.
We care nothing for the folks who've worked to support the United States but give money to rebels who will probably turn those weapons on us.
Washington is broken.
We, the American people, now have to deal with the sequester and all the pain it will bring because our elected officials refuse to act responsibly and find solutions. It is interesting that none of them, or their staffs, will have to take pay cuts or lose their jobs from the sequester.
Now, the day after the $85 billion in cuts from the sequester became law, our new secretary of state gives $250 million to Egypt.
Why does Washington keep pouring our money into countries overseas, most of which hate America, but refuse to aid the American people by getting their jobs done? Why does Washington take better care of foreign countries than this country?
The time has come for Americans to tell their elected officials to stop the bickering, stop the infighting, stop the personal and political bias and be responsible to the people who elected them.