Cuts to welfare
In this great state of ours, I am disheartened when I see families left behind in the name of budget cuts or other reasons. What I am describing is the recently announced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) benefits for families.
Under the old program, a family had to be below the poverty line with monthly oversight electronically to receive a bare minimum of substance.
As a result of these new SNAP guidelines, I fear there will be more crime, drug use, alcohol addiction and domestic violence, to say nothing of dissolutions of marriage.
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All this will lead to more pressure on the judiciary, which is already overwhelmed; more jails, which are filled to capacity in most counties; and more treatment programs.
In the military, we were told that “No one is left behind.” Because of new SNAP guidelines, families will be left behind. I guess we care about the military more than families the military is sworn to protect and serve.
Dennis L. Winton
As someone who relies on biologics to manage my chronic condition, I am concerned by a recent proposal from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would cut payments for Medicare Part B drugs.
If implemented, this proposal would cause massive access problems and safety issues for patients like me.
Many rheumatologists already have been forced to stop prescribing biologic therapies to Medicare patients suffering from arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic diseases because the current payment structure does not cover the cost of administering these complex therapies.
An additional payment cut would force more patients to receive biologic medications in hospital settings, where we would face higher co-payments, more expensive facility fees, longer travel times and administration of complex therapies without the supervision of our trusted rheumatologists.
The proposal is intended to incentivize physicians to prescribe less expensive drugs, but there are very few Part B biologics available to rheumatology patients to begin with, and their costs are all similar.
Additionally, biologics are complex and interact with each patient in different ways, so they cannot be easily interchanged or switched. Once a patient finds a biologic that works, it is likely the only option.
I urge our policymakers in Congress to oppose this newly proposed payment test, which would do nothing more than restrict Medicare patients’ ability to access safe and life-changing therapies.
Robert D. Tichenor II
I teach high school social studies and recently came across notes describing the dictators of World War II as taking advantage of economic problems by:
1. Promising simple solutions to the nation’s problems.
2. Rebuilding national pride using propaganda.
3. Providing scapegoats as targets for anger and blame.
4. Absorbing power by crushing any opposition.
It seems as if we’ve been witnessing these things again ever since the beginning of the current election season.
After $50,000 in college costs, my very intelligent daughter will be starting her nursing career at $23 per hour. Perhaps she should have been flipping burgers for $15 per hour.
Liberal gun bills
As someone who grew up around guns and whose immediate family includes avid hunters, I am flabbergasted by the sweeping and dangerous legislation being considered by the Missouri legislature (5-7, Editorial, “Abort the bad Missouri bills on guns, voter ID and, of course, abortion”).
Forcing guns on campuses, allowing concealed carry — even for violent criminals — with no training whatsoever and expanding “stand your ground” provisions to give private, untrained citizens more leeway to shoot in public than even the military allows its personnel in a war zone is irresponsible. It threatens public safety.
Anyone want to imagine the last two years of unrest in Missouri with all sides heavily armed?
The vast majority of Missouri voters support sensible gun-safety measures and oppose these bills, yet the legislature looked poised to approve them.
Let the state legislators know we will not be silent while they needlessly endanger our lives and the lives of those we love.
And if they ignore us, remember that at election time.