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5/25: Getting nowhere with Sanford

To the editor:

As a Republican, I now see that we have elected a governor who has a record of getting nothing done. He continues to follow this pattern.

We, I guess, must put up with this style for the next three years. The state is going to hell in a handbasket with this type of governor.

I should have known:

1. He is from Florida.
2. Kids in private school.
3. No record of accomplishment.

-- Name withheld upon request, Georgetown, SC

5/19: Not funding Medicaid can bring disastrous problems

To the editor:

We need to reinforce the point that if no alternative funding is found for Medicaid, then it will not "just" be a $170 million reduction, BUT over a $500 million or $600 million dollar reduction because of the loss of the federal match money.

This will be a HUGE hit to the folks served by Medicaid and that all cannot be explained by extraordinary items like special orthopedic shoes. What will happen to Blood Pressure care (the Feds now say we need MORE HBP care) or Diabetes care for poor folks (whether rich or poor, African Americans tend to have these diseases more often than whites) ?? What will happen when the rural doctors can't afford to stay in practice or can't afford to see Medicaid patients anymore?? Early medical conditions will become catastrophic things and costs will actually INCREASE!! (for somebody).

The lost of the federal match will be a HUGE hit not just to Medicaid and its clients, BUT ALSO to the GENERAL ECONOMY, DOCTORS and HOSPITALS. Reducing the program by $500 million to $600 million will be very tough and will probably throw many clients back into emergency rooms for unfunded care which in turn will hurt hospitals. Many rural or small town doctors' incomes are dependent on revenues from the Medicaid program, so reductions will obviously hurt their private economy and the role they play in the general economy. Furthermore, if Medicaid reimbursements to doctors are cut even more, rural and small town doctors will have to get out of the program shifting more and more care to hospitals (so much for the Medical Home idea) and the doctors may have to leave the small towns and rural areas altogether.

Finally, because of potential parallel losses and federal minimum requirements, the loss of the federal match may start a VICIOUS cycle DOWNWARD in future Medicaid funding.

-- Stephen Imbeau, MD, Florence, SC

5/18: Who elected these people?

Dear Editor,

I am not sure if this is the right place to air my feelings, but I think it is as good as any to start.

I am appalled at the current standards of behavior and morality of our elected officials. As a native of Charleston, I have grown up listening to the distasteful and often ignorant rantings of J.G. Altman. His recent behavior involving Rep. [Leon] Howard is just one more in a series of episodes allowing him to openly bash anyone whose views are different from his own.

Last fall, it was Charlie Smith, who not only had the audacity to oppose him in an election, but made no secret of the fact that he was gay. Even before he was elected to represent Charleston on a state level, he behaved this way at school board meetings, lashing out not only at minorities but teachers as well!

In the Upstate, we have Rep. [Ralph] Davenport. While not as blatantly offensive, this man truly believes that we need a statue of an unborn child on the Statehouse grounds to remind people that abortion is legal.

Please tell me how that is less offensive than the Pro-Life protesters with their unborn child posters? I do not have any desire to see or have my children see these images. While abortion is legal, any woman in this state who has ever had one, has agonized over the decision and has her own personal reasons for doing it. We don't need a statue; we have a choice. And we live with our choices.

I guess what I am trying to say is, who elected these people? For this kind of entertainment turn on your TV. I want someone at the Capitol who cares about taxes, safety, medical issues and most importantly education. Not someone concerned about drinking straws, statues and skin color. If we don't do something about the important issues, we will never have educated voters to get rid of the idiots in power now.

-- Elizabeth S. Bunker, Fountain Inn, SC

5/13: Term limits would help thwart infighting

To the editor:

As a conservative libertarian, I am convinced that the state is better equipped to provide for it's citizens than is the federal government. You have convinced me that the state budget is in shambles and is in need of reform. The problem, which is made clear in your latest article, is that our State has an infighting issue not unlike our fed.

The Dems and Repubs are more worried about who is in control than they are about the citizens they have been elected to represent. This causes gridlock and nothing is accomplished for the folks. Money and time is wasted jockeying for position.

Now there are folks in Columbia who are trying to make SC a better place to live but something happens to these people after being in the lion's den for a few years....It is now time to examine term limits. A career politician is not in touch with the people and quickly turns in to a fat cat influenced by special interest.

With that said, I do believe the feds need to drastically lower taxes and become more fiscally responsible. They should decrease the size of the Gov. and put control back into the hands of the state who is more in touch with the needs of the local folks.

-- Jay Auld, Bluffton, SC


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