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For universal health care 

For universal health care

While the U.S. Senate twists itself into a pretzel not passing a health care bill, I'm pleased to see that more and more people are looking seriously at universal health care. A single-payer system is no longer a fringe idea. It makes sense. Medicare for all works for everyone.

Of course, paying for it is the elephant in the room. No one wants to raise taxes, and the people who buy our lawmakers and the powerful lobbies of the companies that would lose business won't allow it to happen. They will go to any lengths to protect their profits at the expense of the average citizen.

But the real power lies in "we the people." A groundswell of support from the bottom up for a system that works for all the other industrialized countries in the world could make it happen here. It's time we seriously consider a better option for health care in this country.

Maya Porter

Johnson

Concerned about Medicaid

Millions of Americans have let out a simultaneous sigh of relief as the Senate's health care reform plan essentially failed as written. However, the House and Senate's actions have exposed an alarming reality: Our Congress is willing to do whatever it takes, no matter the harm to their constituents, to further a partisan agenda.

I'm deeply concerned about the future of Medicaid. I'm deeply concerned for the 300,000 Arkansans who stand to lose coverage should the program be rolled back or capped. I'm deeply concerned for the 70,000 seniors and nearly 400,000 children who rely on coverage to maintain a healthy, dignified quality of life. I've learned what Medicaid means to people. It is more than just health care assistance: It is a lifeline of hope and opportunity to the needy and the vulnerable.

I am an Arkansan first and an advocate second. I was raised to be proud of where I'm from, and to remember who raised me. It's with this conscience that I protested the Better Care Reconciliation Act. I would encourage fellow Arkansans to do the same.

Lindsay Bencick

Little Rock

Cotton and warrantless surveillance

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton has introduced legislation that would make permanent the warrantless surveillance of every citizen in this country by the NSA.

SB 1297 permanently enshrines Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, which normally goes up for legislative review every few years. 

His rationale is that we're at permanent war with Islamist terrorists and that somehow, by violating the privacy rights of millions of American citizens, we'll prevent someone from running their car into a crowd.

This bill constitutes a gross violation of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy. This isn't what free states and democracies do. This is what totalitarian states do. It makes the Stasi in former East Germany look like the good guys.

If you really value freedom and liberty, if you value your right to privacy, your right to simply be left alone, then call, email or write Cotton and all the Arkansas delegation in D.C. and tell them you oppose this bill.

Brad Bailey

Fayetteville

Hard work

I am writing in regard to your article "2017 LR Confidential" and explicitly about the section describing the work of an LPN in a long-term facility.

I worked as an LPN in long-term care facilities for five or six years. I found much of the descriptions to be accurate. The CNAs do provide the majority of resident care and are woefully underpaid. However, I feel that the work of the LPN was somewhat understated. The LPN is required to push very heavy machinery through the halls. There were two medication passes during my shift. There were 60-70 residents and the medication pass was supposed to last no more than two hours. That left the nurse only about two minutes to consult the medication administration record, which was voluminous, punch out the prescribed medication, give it to the resident and attempt to form some impression of the resident's status.

There was very little time left to actually talk to the resident. Very often, one medication pass was completed just in time to start the next one.

I would suggest that even though the pay is generally better, any nurses over the age of 40 consider another care setting. The work at a long-term care facility is no walk in the park.

Catherine Lamb

Little Rock

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