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Opinion Letters

Several opinions about the government shutdown have come across these pages. Of course everyone is concerned about it and many are being impacted seriously. The obstacle? Obamacare! Providing insurance coverage for the uninsured is a worthy goal, no question. But, the problem is how we are going about it.

First of all, as I recall, Republicans were not allowed a meaningful seat at the table when Obamacare was being drafted. Their input was either ignored, rejected or denied. Then Nancy Pelosi recommended passing it “so we could see what was in it” and Democrats pretty much pushed it through without Republican backing. That alone should have been a red flag.

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In my business I deal with many people who are at the bottom of the economic ladder. For them one car breakdown or one illness can mean financial disaster. Often it means the loss of a job, and any hope of climbing out of poverty. When Jim Davis and Governor McCrory denied over half a million N.C. citizens 100 percent federally paid for Medicaid coverage, they guaranteed that many of those 500,000 citizens would never climb out of poverty and that some of them would die.

When asked to justify this callous and spiteful act they argued that it was necessary because of the terrible state of the existing Medicaid program in N.C. As proof of this they cited a state audit of the North Carolina Medicaid program. The governor claimed that the audit showed high administrative cost, management problems and serious budget overruns in past years. As a result the governor said that N.C. was in no position to accept any more Medicaid recipients.

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Dear Rep. Meadows:

There once was a time in this country when opposing parties would come together and work for the good of our citizens. Though there are many examples of this, let me point to one with which I was intimately involved.

Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, the pollution problems of the Potomac River had become infamous. In 1957, the U.S. Public Health Service declared the Potomac unsafe for swimming. A sign fastened to the pier at Mount Vernon advised visitors to “Avoid Contact With Polluted River Water.”

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October signifies different things for different people. The leaves are changing, the nights are getting colder, and if you're a baseball fan like me, you're hoping your team makes it to the postseason. One thing that might not always cross your mind is that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. There was a time for me when I would look at the pink ribbons and not pay that much attention to the purpose of it all. I understood what they were for, but I guess I couldn’t feel a connection to it.

My grandmother passed away from breast cancer in 2005, and I decided then to make myself more aware of the disease, along with what I could be doing about it. That year I started doing breast self-exams on a monthly basis. I didn't know it at the time, but that one decision would ultimately save my life.

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