Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 10, 2006

Don't shortchange health care for kids

I am writing this letter in response to Todd Richissin's article "Md. health cuts exact toll on immigrant kids" (April 4). It is interesting that in the midst of the country's debate over illegal immigration comes this discussion of health care access for legal immigrants.

The children featured in this article are legal Maryland residents and are in need of medical care. In some cases, this need is dire.

This very small portion of the state's Medicaid budget, $7 million, was trimmed during the 2005 legislative session at a time when fiscal restraint was warranted. At that time, state budget deficits were projected to surpass the $1 billion mark. Instead of record deficits, the state accumulated a budget surplus that now exceeds $1 billion.

Resources are available to restore this program.

The children of legal immigrants will not stop requiring medical care simply because this assistance program is no longer available.

Cutting this portion of the state's Medicaid budget yielded some small short-term cost savings. However, in the long run, it is likely to result in greater costs for all Marylanders through increases in uncompensated care for hospitals, physicians and other health care providers, which is already a burgeoning problem.

Joanna Shoffner Silver Spring

The writer is associate director of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute.

Don't delay state's takeover of schools

The mayor and City Council of Baltimore have not demonstrated that they consider the education of public school students a high priority ("Schoolyard Brawl," April 2).

In the past several years, as the public schools were continuing to decline in performance, the mayor and City Council were able to find $350 million to build a convention hotel that developers throughout the nation could have achieved.

Why didn't the Baltimore school board, the schools CEO, the teachers union and state senators and delegates raise objections and demand money for the schools with the same fervency as they oppose the state taking over schools with serious problems?

These actions and lack of action illustrate that these politicians assign a low priority to the education of the students of city schools.

The state takeover of schools should not be delayed. The state superintendent has been effective in leading the Education Department and implementing successful improvements in the state schools under several governors, not just a Republican governor.

It is appropriate that the education of city school students be turned over to people who care about their education.

Marie Lewis

Lochern

The writer teaches adult education in Baltimore.

Fliers are fodder for city litter

I read with great interest, and great amusement, the article "City flier ban sought" (April 5). I live in the Canton area. What amuses me the most are the community leaders, council members and others who are attacking the people who post fliers on, in or around our front door. It's not their fault.

The problem lies with the residents of our fair city, and if anyone should receive a fine it should be them.

I have watched my very own neighbors - who just happen to be the new young people taking over the upscale neighborhoods like mine - come home from work, take the flier and throw it on the street or leave the flier until the wind blows it away.

If the people would take pride in their homes and the area around them, they would take the fliers and or papers inside and throw them in the trash, and no one would have to worry about a flier ban. No one said you have to read them, but then again, no one said you should throw them in the streets, either.

Dolly Dobrzycki

Baltimore

DeLay's departure won't save the GOP

The Republicans are whistling in the graveyard if they actually believe that Rep. Tom DeLay's bowing out from Congress prior to the election will mitigate the Democrats' assault on the "culture of corruption" that embroils the GOP ("DeLay's decision fuels GOP concerns," April 5).

Mr. DeLay's public explanation for his departure was tinged with his signature bitter partisanship. The fact remains that he is leaving Congress because of a tightening noose that will undoubtedly strangle him as the legal process unfolds.

The Democrats will and should highlight the hypocrisy and corruption of Mr. DeLay, as well as other affected self-righteous Republicans who were hellbent on impeaching President Bill Clinton.

Yes, politics is local, as GOP leaders like to point out. But one hopes that the electorate will clean house this year and in 2008, as they correctly come to their senses and realize enough is enough.

Steve Charing

Clarksville

U.S. paying price for Rumsfeld

Why is Donald H. Rumsfeld still the secretary of defense for the United States? As the defense secretary, he has been responsible for the overall strategy in Iraq, where things continue to go badly for the United States and its allies. But he has made few changes in his approach, and President Bush has still not replaced him.

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