Thank you for your Aug. 8 article on Medicaid expansion ["An unhealthy dialogue"]. In this election, we're hearing a lot about health care reform. I hope voters remember that, right now, many people cannot get health care they need.
Recently, my husband fell. I took him to Duke urgent care, and we were turned away because we were $1 short on the Medicaid co-payment. We are both disabled, and figuring out how to afford gas or bus fare can be hard. In emergencies, often the extra money is just not there. And yet, without early treatment and preventive care, health situations like this can lead to more serious, more expensive problems down the road. No one should be in a situation where they cannot receive medical attention when they need it because of lack of funds.
Getting denied health care can make you feel powerless. But we can change things. The candidates we elect to the General Assembly will decide whether to expand Medicaid coverage to 500,000 uninsured people. Our legislators in D.C. will make decisions about the Affordable Care Act. Small changes in policy have real effects on the lives of families like mine.
Expanding insurance coverage will improve health outcomes and save lives. ... I hope my fellow voters will remember the families who cannot go to the doctor when we need to. It can happen to anyone. We need leaders who will look out for all of us.
Few would deny that Orange, Durham and Wake counties have rapidly grown in the last three decades, and expert predictions are for continued population increases. As someone who lives in north Orange County and frequently commutes to Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, I can personally attest to the increase in traffic on rural roads as well as our interstates. If you've ever been on I-40 between 4 and 7 p.m., you know about traffic congestion. If you commute into Hillsborough at 8 a.m. or 4 p.m., you know about traffic backup and delay. If you believe that more automotive traffic is our future and want to do something to change that, then voting for the the Orange County Transit Plan is a vote in the right direction.
A quarter-cent sales tax equates to an extra 5 cents on a $10 purchase. I think we can all afford that. And even though rural residents may think that they will not ever use a bus or a train, they still will benefit from an easier commute because of all those who will use public transportation. World-class cities all have efficient mass transportation systems, some albeit put in place after overwhelming congestion and heavy infrastructure were firmly established. In the Triangle, we still have the opportunity to plan and build with minimal disruption and prepare for the transportation challenges that are inevitable. We all win with an efficient, comprehensive transportation system. This is money well spent.