Energy of the women’s march needs to be directed toward the health care of Texans, not sent around the world. Texas ranking on an overall health scorecard is 41 among 50 states. Yet, $10 billion of federal Medicaid funding is turned away annually by Republican legislators. Think of the good jobs that $10 billion a year would support — high paying jobs like nurses, therapists and Emergency Medical Service workers.
Federal taxes paid by Texans, available to reinvest in health care of our working poor, goes instead to other states. Research by the Commonwealth Fund indicates that Texas has more than 10,000 unnecessary deaths annually for lack of health care. On an average basis, among those deaths are 620 babies that do not see their first birthday, 878 colorectal cancer deaths and 777 breast cancer deaths.
Sen. Charles Schwertner chairs the Senate Health Committee. His no vote has consequences. So does your vote.
BILLIE REANEY, GEORGETOWN
I believe that any compassionate person would accept and support the premise of the letter regarding the women’s march and supporting the International Violence Against Women Act and the Reach Every Mother and Child Act.
Proof of the necessity of her convictions were reflected in the headline on the American-Statesman the same day, “UT prof pleaded to felony, kept job.”
He choked his girlfriend, according to the article, more than once. For that, he must take a class on how to treat women and do community service.
Thanks to the Statesman reporters’ work, this is now public knowledge.
JAMES BOLDEBUCK, AUSTIN
I asked my husband once, years ago, why the government takes money away from military retirees. His answer: “Easy target.” Ed’s gone now, succumbed to an Agent Orange-related cancer — but those two words continue to echo in my brain.
I’m proud to say that is no longer true thanks partly to a tenacious group of war widows who put our collective feet down in the form of a group, Military Widows: SBP-DIC Offset, on Facebook. We called, visited, wrote lettersand spoke to groups during the last year in order to get the government to stop nibbling away at our survivor benefits. It worked.
We will continue to receive our $310 Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance monthly money per the National Defense Authorization Act. The battle is not over, though. Congress still has to stop offsetting our Survivor Benefit Plan and the Dependent Indemnity Compensation, money from our husbands’ premature deaths.
KATHLEEN RICHARDSON, BERTRAM
The present state administration has long supported an anti-abortion stance. Every fetus, except in a few extreme circumstances, should come to full term and be born. Legislative caring, however, seems to stop at the moment of birth, for what happens to a child who is born in difficult circumstances does not appear to be a great concern, except for a small, caring few. The low priority of the health, education and welfare of Texas children is evident in legislative actions on such issues as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and reform of foster care.
Childhood is short — and children bear the consequences of our foot-dragging “improvements to the system.”
It seems great hypocrisy to be “pro-life” in utero, but not be “pro-child” for those who are born and are growing up as Texans. Ken Paxton, instead of opposing changes to the foster care system, do all you can to support the enforcement of those regulations which emphasize Care.
BOBBIE SANDERS, AUSTIN
I was shocked but not really surprised when I read that Sen. Ted Cruz denied to NBC’s Kasie Hunt that he was instrumental in orchestrating the 16-day shutdown of the government by his attempt to defund Obamacare.
The current White House occupant lies about something he said or did that’s part of the public record, then doubles down on the media by calling it “fake news” — and it works every time. It’s no wonder that Senator “In It For Me” Cruz has decided that it can work for him, too.
I hope Texans are watching this charade and are ready to throw this charlatan out of office in 2018.
MARK DENNIS, LAKEWAY
If you don’t have something to hide, why behave this way? The Roman concept of “stasis”— a rhetorical theory refined by Cicero, Quintilian, and Hermogenes — delineated all of the issues attorneys drew upon to determine whether someone is guilty of wrongdoing. One point of stasis was called “argument from consequence.” Roman lawyers often asked: Does the accused person’s behavior show signs or consequences of guilt?
The recent decision to release the Nunes memorandum — the revelation that President Trump actually ordered the firing of Robert Mueller — combined with his firing of James Comey, his and the Republicans’ systematic efforts to undermine Mueller’s investigation and law enforcement agencies by spreading conspiracy theories, and a host of other actions strongly suggest that the president has something to hide and very likely is guilty of wrongdoing.
RICHARD CHERWITZ, AUSTIN