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2017-03-16

Public Health

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Let us consider children. As a retired public school teacher, it is irresponsible to remove the Medicaid provisions that protect vulnerable children.
I had taught the first hour of my class, it left for thirty-five minutes of music instruction.
An unpleasant odor had become stronger all morning. It seemed an animal had died in our classroom. I made a quick search for the source. Then I called our janitor to assist me hoping to solve the problem before the class returned.
Together we found a students' jacket from which the stench arose. On further investigation, I found out that this student was being raised by his grandmother in circumstances of extreme poverty. Their house was unheated except for the cook stove and he was sleeping in his jacket with a goat in order to keep warm. Throughout the year, this first grader often came to school sick and was absent from school far too many days as result.
If our State Legislature had accepted the ACA extension program, he would have had access to medical attention and neighborhood clinics. However, Texans' federal tax dollars for public health went instead to those states that accepted the ACA Extension.
In our nation we have too many students who have a meager existence. Many of them were and are more severe than this one.
I urge you to protect the present source of public health that is available to them-the Affordable Care Act.
In my experience with parents and grandparents of similar students, their mothers were working two or three jobs and so were their fathers. They were not freeloaders as those who create false news would have you believe. Instead they were doing all they could to keep their families together and grandparents were frequently their only safety net.

Sincerely yours,
R. M. Hall
Kerrville