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From the week of February 28, 2002

The Unkindest Cuts

Banned aid:I just finished reading Stuart Steers's "Cutting Edge," in the February 14 issue. Has everyone become so wrapped up in glittery profit that they've forgotten about the people who are sick? I am a single mother who works menial jobs so that my daughter can qualify for Medicaid. I myself do not have insurance, because that $80 per month (or whatever) needs to go toward clothes and the electricity bill. So even though my girl is covered, I am the mom who lies in bed at night thinking, "Gee, I hope I don't get sick or sustain any sort of bodily injury that two aspirin and a Band-Aid can't fix."

Once, I slipped on some ice and split my face in two places. I'll admit it: I went to the emergency room and used a fake name because I couldn't afford the bill. I always put off seeking care for illnesses and hope my blood cells will take the place of medical attention.

Okay, so people doneed to get paid, but insurance companies aren'tpeople. I'm tired of faceless corporations keeping a Big Brother-esque eye on everything we do "for our own good" (i.e., taking prenatal care or diabetes treatment out of a basic health plan). Fuck the bozos.

P.S. I love your work, Westword!

Alicia Munder
Denver

A helping hand: Thank you for Stuart Steers's well-written "Cutting Edge," which illustrates the consequences of the proposed bill to ban insurance mandates that would leave people with real medical problems finding themselves without access to important medical services.

The bill is being promoted by its sponsors as allowing insurance companies to cut or make optional the "frills" that the legislature has burdened insurance companies with in the past by mandating coverage of specific services.

And just what, pray tell, would some of these unnecessary "frills" be? Why, little things like arms and legs. Incredibly, although most people in Colorado think that if they had to face the challenge of losing a limb, insurance would cover prosthetics (artificial limbs), this was not true just two years ago.

That's when things were changed by an overwhelming bipartisan effort that passed a mandate to require insurance companies to cover prosthetic limbs at the same level as Medicare. By sharing the cost of this coverage across everyone in a company's insurance pool, individual costs were increased by only pennies apiece. The mandate ensures that amputees are able to return to active and productive lives with their families and jobs.

After all, isn't this one of the things that insurance is designed to do?

With the proposed bill removing this important mandate, we would again find that working amputees in Colorado cannot afford a leg to stand on.

Jeff Cain
Denver


The White Stuff

PC or not PC: It was refreshing to read David Holthouse's "Good Cop, White Cop," in the February 21 issue. Finally, an article from the other side. It is good to see that Westword is willing to venture into the non-PC once in a while. Give us more!

Eric Siegler
Centennial

Stand by your man:I've always heard African-Americans say they are proud of their race. So why is it that when a cop who just happens to be white stands up and says, 'Hey, wait a minute, I'm proud of my race, and I don't think what's going on is fair," he gets in trouble? People make race an issue because they are immature and pissed off, and I don't blame this man for coming back at them the same way they came in. I would rather have a cop, no color involved, who knew what he was doing help or protect me than one who needed a few more months of training or only got the job because he had to fill the ratio.

I am happy to see people stand up and be proud. I hear people clapping when the credit due is given, so why can't this man and others stand up and be proud of what they do -- and get some thanks?

Also, regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch," in the same February 21 issue, I just have to say that I am all for farmers. First of all, we take their land (sound familiar?), then we take their money and resources, and we are only hurting ourselves. Like Wes McKinley says, we will have to import food and we will no longer be on top. I haven't heard about Farm Aid concerts in a while; whatever happened to that? I say we take a stand and start our own "bake sale" and donate the money to our local farmers, just so they can keep up.

Vanessa Kay
Thornton


Knock on Woody

A real Paige-turner: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Woody Goes Limp," in the February 21 issue:

Thank heavens for Woody: He is ourgeek, our special one who needs close supervision whenever we go to the store.

What needs closer scrutiny is the Mormon connection to the Denver Post and the yanking of the article from the Post Web site. That's a helluva lot scarier than anything Woody could do.

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