Printed Letters: June 27, 2017
Giving panhandlers money isn’t a solution
As you drive through town, you can see panhandlers on many street corners flying their cardboard signs and panhandling for money. Your heart goes out to them because you want to help someone who is down and out.
You offer up a few dollars, maybe even a twenty, to get them the food, gas, medication, or whatever their cardboard sign says they desperately need. When you give the panhandler cash, your heart certainly is in the right place, but your actions are not.
Even though the signs panhandlers hold may say they are seeking money for the bare essentials, I can easily guess that most of the money received goes toward alcohol, drugs, marijuana and cigarettes. These are the things that the transients don’t get from the many agencies, groups and churches that help them.
The agencies, churches and groups that help the homeless in this community provide regular meals, clothing, camping gear, cell phones, a mailing address, places to sleep, access to medical care, showers and haircuts. With access to such plentiful assistance, it seems there wouldn’t be so much need to gather curbside cash from the generous people within the community.
Rather than hand a few dollars out your window to a panhandler on the corner, it would be better to provide a donation to one of the many churches, groups, charities or agencies that consistently assist the homeless population. This would provide a much-needed infusion of cash into these groups and also would help coordinate the effort to provide these panhandlers with the hand up they truly need, rather than a handout they receive. If we don’t work together to stop the problem of curbside panhandling, we most certainly will perpetuate the problem.
Request senators to work for a fair health care plan
As I prepare for surgery this morning, I realize how grateful I am not to have worries about how I will pay for this needed procedure. As a Medicare recipient, also able to afford a good supplemental plan, I can be assured that my surgery will be covered. I do not have to decide between paying my bills and having surgery. Or paying for medication or buying food. Or a slew of other impossible choices that folks will have to make if the Senate passes their version of the AHCA.
Are you aware that the AHCA would affect Medicare as well as Medicaid funding? Eleven million low-income people who receive Medicare also receive Medicaid. They are among the country’s most vulnerable elderly and disabled adults.
Medicaid covers services that Medicare does not – valuable, needed services like nursing homes and home-care services that enable people to stay home rather than being institutionalized. If, for instance, Medicaid funding of home-care services is reduced, many dual recipients of Medicaid and Medicare could end up hospitalized, which would then place more burden on Medicare.
I agree that the Affordable Care Act has not been the answer to all our health care woes. But dismantling rather than repairing and improving it is not the answer. I truly believe as a nation we have the resources, the brains and the heart to provide health care to all our citizens, not just to those who can afford it. Please call your senators today and demand that they work together for a fair and just health care plan.
Gardner should listen to constituents on health care
Last weekend our senator, Cory Gardner, was in Colorado Springs, hearing what the billionaire Koch Brothers told him to do about the Trump/GOP Wealthcare bill.
Our elected senator will not face us, his constituents, in a true town hall meeting, but he went to the luxurious Broadmoor Hotel for food, drinks, instructions and campaign “donations” from the Kochs. If someone put a lot of money in my account, I would try to do what they wanted. After all, they’re paying the bills.
What can we do? Call Gardner’s office. Visit his office. E-mail him. Will it do any good? Who knows, but until money in politics is eliminated, it is all we can legally do to get Gardner’s attention. Right now, I keep asking Gardner to protect expanded Medicaid, to continue funding reproductive healthcare and substance abuse programs, and to not give the ultra-rich a tax break.
When hundreds of thousands of Coloradans suffer; when many die preventable deaths; when thousands experience medical bankruptcy; Trump and the GOP will blame Obama and liberals. But I know responsibility will rest with our GOP senator and the Koch Brothers.