Taking the owe out of Owens: Regarding Stuart Steers's "In Sickness and in Wealth," in the April 3 issue:
The Owens administration's approach to the loss of Medicaid benefits makes it the poster child of the Bush administration's approach nationally -- eliminate all entitlement programs by starving them in favor of corporate-welfare programs like tax cuts and investments in the military-industrial complex or private enterprise.
Medicare is also dying. As unemployment goes up, few employees participate in employer-sponsored healthcare plans, already under economic siege. Fewer participants in these programs means fewer payers to carry the costs of the system, which is being staggered by "emergency" care for the indigent. So medical costs rise, in a dynamic spiral of low supply, high demand. HMOs are not the answer; they are part of the problem. They suck up a lot of medical talent formerly available for direct care (nursing shortage?) and worse, they add yet another layer of management -- read expenses and overhead. The answer for the people who really pay the freight in this country is national healthcare. Organize these separate programs into one entity and provide basic healthcare to everybody -- not just the elderly, the employed, the disabled, the military, the lower-income, the pregnant or the very young, but to everybody. Liberate the medical profession from the stranglehold of oppressive schooling debt, excessive "time-management" protocols and multiple bureaucracies. Get the bad doctors off the streets. Dust off Hillary Clinton's national healthcare plan and work it up.
Because what's happening right now, especially in Colorado, is this: A frail, elderly woman is attacked by a drug fiend and goes into cardiac arrest. You must address the situation yourself. Do you give her CPR and mouth-to-mouth or do you go after the drug fiend and put him in jail? If you're a hardline Republican, you jail the drug fiend and let the little old lady die.
A waking nightmare: I know you are getting loads of mail about Stuart Steers's story; I want to get involved in any way I can. My son, who was fifteen years of age, just passed away. He was Down syndrome/rare seizure disorder, medically involved. I am also disabled. Medicaid is the only lifesaver for our children: It cost less to have Medicaid and keep them home with us. I had private insurance here and there as a single mother. Bill Owens needs to know what a nightmare he has given our families.
I feel for the families, and I know my son would still want me involved.
Miss opportunity: In January, before the school term began, I read The World According to Garp. My grandmother had given me the book before I moved from Denver to Salt Lake City in 1995. The first month I was in Salt Lake City, I finished reading A Prayer for Owen Meany for the second time. There I set out on my personal journey.
Owen Meany taught me that fate can call the willing to duty. Garp taught me that horrible things can still happen to the most beautiful of people.
Laura Bond took the story of Miss Audry and made it bigger and more beautiful in "Turning the Tables," in the April 3 issue. She told it so precisely that my reaction midway through was "Damn, this is a good article." But it's more than that. I literally think her story, the way she balanced the facts with the drama and edged into the emotion, will help everyone involved psychologically to come to terms with the realities of a tragedy.
And it lets people know about beautifully talented people who are passionate about art.
Are the stars out tonight? That was a harrowing tale about the DJ in the car accident. Were I in her place, I have no medical insurance.
Aspects of Laura Bond's story rekindled my fascination with the DJ star in general. For some time now, those who have become known in circles frequented by what is still a limited number of people are so known for how they manipulate audio technology in what has become its own art form. When I see in Westword a schedule of performers slated to appear in Denver, and they are club DJs, there is still something unique to me about the idea of someone who is essentially a (re?)producer of published audio recordings as a kind of celebrity. I can only imagine having seen hundreds of twelve-hour parties as, I suppose, any DJ or audience member has.