In response to Mental Health Breakdown (March 10):
Coffinos story all too familiar to families of mentally ill
I relate all too well to Mickey Coffinos story. It is an overwhelmingly desperate, helpless feeling to have someone you love so dearly in the ICU recovering from a suicide attempt while the hospital psychiatrist shrugs his shoulders and says he has no idea what to do next. Resources are so few and family members are often left floundering trying to find help for their loved one.
Mental health front-pager was commentary, unfair to providers
It is disappointing that you ran your editorial, Mental Health Breakdown, as a front page news story. Your one-sided piece effectively vilified local mental healthcare providers, most of whom have no influence over the limited resources they must deal with on a daily basis, and ignored the effort they expend in their under-appreciated role.
Care at CMC-Randolph would be less of a crapshoot, as Assistant Police Chief Eddie Levins opined, if he directed his fellow officers to use the hospital only for the care of individuals with mental health issues, rather than to serve their convenience as an overflow drunk tank.
Physician assistants could ease mental health system woes
I appreciate Michael Gordons piece on mental health. One solution was not mentioned. Physician assistants are willing and able to see those who suffer from mental health issues but the legislature and N.C. Medicaid have put barriers in their way. A physician assistant is currently unable to bill N.C. Medicaid for evaluating and treating a patient unless that patient is first seen by their supervising physician. Another type of midlevel provider, nurse practitioners, can bill Medicaid directly for seeing mental health patients. There are currently discussions to remove this unnecessary restriction but it moves at a snails pace.
Guns already killing Americans want to filibuster about that?
Rand Paul recently directed our nations attention to the possibility that a drone might be used to kill an American sometime in the future. Might he have spent just a few minutes to do the same for the actuality that a Bushmaster [gun] might be used to kill an American (26) as was done at Sandy Hook school ?
Id rather face the drone.
In response to Use lottery proceeds to help Panthers stadium upgrades (March 10 Forum):
Lottery to help Panthers? Yes! Minnesota Vikings doing it
Im a lifelong football fan who has attended a few NFL and NCAA games in Charlotte. I dont have Panthers PSLs, I dont play the lottery, and the Panthers arent my favorite team. I could, however, support a statewide lottery to help fund renovations at Panthers stadium.
The Minnesota Vikings have also partnered with their states lottery to raise revenue toward a new stadium. Why not allow Panthers fans (and other football fans) to demonstrate support to help finance stadium upgrades? It probably wouldnt pay off the entire tab, but its the next best thing to a referendum.
Taxing Sunday liquor sales also could pay for stadium upgrades
There are three ways to provide money for improvements at Bank of America without raising taxes. First the city can increase the annual business license fee. Second, shift money from the Charlotte Convention Center. Third, the state legislature should approve Sunday ABC liquor sales with the profits/taxes designated for statewide business incentives for which the stadium would qualify.
Oneal R. Wallace
Lawmakers do agree others should pay for their spending
There is a very dangerous misconception that our leadership in D.C. is incapable of compromising and balancing the budget because they have different ideas how to solve the problem. There is a stalemate because they have the identical vision of how to eliminate our national debt: Both sides want somebody else to sacrifice and pay for the lavish spending that happened under their watch.
In response to Act on climate, conservatives (March 10 Viewpoint):
Energy costs will depend on what study youre looking at
Price Atkinson notes that six new EPA regulations would result in more than $110 billion in compliance for our nations power sector, and that is damaging to our economy. However a study in 2011 by Harvard University says that reliance on coal generation costs the economy between $175 billion and $523 billion a year in hidden expenses of health costs and pollution.
Remarkable that we see just the first half of the picture when we insist on looking only at our electricity bills, unaware those medical bills keep climbing because of this shortsightedness. Politicians are failing to connect the dots to our great expense.