Letters to the Editor

7/15 Letters: Move the DHHS so that we don’t have to pay for employees to live in Raleigh.

Rising housing cost

For some time, across the country, public employees — police, firefighters, EMT, teachers — have experienced rising housing costs which have effectively priced them out of living in the communities in which they work. In North Carolina, rising housing costs in Raleigh and the surrounding areas have far outpaced costs in other areas of the state, including other urban areas. In light of this, why should taxpayers across North Carolina continue to pay the increasing costs not only for DHHS workers to receive salaries which allow them to reside in the area, but also the high cost of building new DHHS offices in the over-priced commercial real estate sector?

Kim Anderson

Piedmont

Common-sense expansion

I’m tired of reading the excuses opponents give for not supporting common-sense Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. The “fear” that the federal government will suddenly stop paying the 90% of cost it’s ow doing in other states has been used as an excuse for nearly five years. Meanwhile, our state has missed out on millions of “free” federal healthcare dollars which would benefit thousands of North Carolinians. This is not only foolhardy but cruel. It is especially troublesome when you take note of the dire health care conditions and closing hospitals in eastern N.C. Expanding Medicare now and helping our fellow citizens in need is a no-brainer. To delay again is indefensible.

Patricia Lang

Durham

Lover’s quarrel

The commentary by Desiree Zapata Miller in today’s edition (“The growing, misguided anti-American sentiment,” July 11) brings to mind a quote from William Sloane Coffin: “There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover’s quarrel with their country.”

ls it possible that Ms. Miller and others who share her sentiment are mistaking “the Colin Kaepernicks of this world” as loveless critics when, in fact, they are carrying on a lover’s quarrel with their country? I believe they are. In spite of the progress made by the abolition of slavery and, a century later, by the adoption of civil rights and voting rights laws, which we all celebrate, the effects of slavery and discrimination continue today (higher unemployment, lower average wages, shockingly less wealth, profiling, to name a few).

Even as a white American who loves the USA, I (and countless others) quarrel with our country for allowing these conditions to continue. Please stop labeling our sentiment “anti-American.”

Tom Harris

Durham

Keep digging

As a retired state employee whose income has been fixed (thanks to legislators who apparently consider our group disposable) to well below what I expected when I began my years of faithful service to students and educators across North Carolina.

Executing cost-cutting measures where I could, I discontinued home delivery of The News & Observer when I sold our house. I reasoned that a digital subscription would serve me quite as well. My reasoning was short-sighted. Today’s opinion by Leonard Pitts, Jr., “What will we do when there are no newspapers?,” lit a virtual light bulb: Newspapers must have subscribers to survive and our country’s integrity depends on journalists who are provided opportunity to dig deeply for stories.

I just took advantage of your July special offer for home delivery. I hope others who are concerned about our state and country will do the same. To your correspondents: Keep digging!

Molly Weston

Garner

Unmanaged healthcare

Democrats who are proposing Medicaid expansion or Medicare or Medicaid for All need to rethink these approaches. Doctors take an oath to do no harm, but their current role in our health care services does harm their patients.

By not providing their services at affordable costs, patients are harmed by lack of care and debt leading to bankruptcy. Just providing more insurance to more patients is not the answer. Even managed care and related privatization is not the answer. It is time for what some are calling “disrupting healthcare.”

Many call any type of true and significant change — such as negotiation of drug costs or other cost controls — socialistic. So be it. The European Union has not only more affordable and accessible health care than we do, the quality is as good or better. Many of the horror stories told to political candidates involve drug costs. But most of us use drugs without regard to their safety or their costs. Insured patients only know the co-pay amount and not the real costs paid by public or private insurance. It is time for drastic change before we expand our public insurance coverage to more people.

Martha C. Brock

Raleigh

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