Kids' care lacking
As one Arkansas's handful of child and adolescent psychiatrists, I appreciate any honest journalistic effort (“Quiet Change,” Aug. 6) to call attention to the myriad problems in providing services to kids in our state. The state government and its Medicaid agency have too often acted upon their sincere conviction that the issue is not the total amount of financial resources available for these services, but its distribution and emphasis on “residential” services. From my perspective, practicing since 1983, there have never been enough resources, period. It is true that occasionally a child or teen ends up in an acute (short-term) hospital bed or a subacute (longer-term) unit, when the stay may have been avoidable if adequate community resources were in place. Our state has nowhere near enough therapeutic foster care, intensive family services, day treatment, or other community-based care that provides more than just outpatient clinic visits. The political approach always seems to boil down to finances and territorial disputes. Effective inter-agency cooperation is difficult and time-consuming, and many of us spend far too much time being advocates — time we would rather spend with children and families. Your article was a step in the right direction, but overemphasized one problematic facility. Help us push for enough resources and a fuller array of services for these kids!
Richard Livingston, M.D.
To those Arkansans who are against the new state lottery, here is some advice. Don't purchase any tickets! Don't allow your college-bound child to apply for lottery-sponsored scholarships! There, you've done your part. Those of us who voted FOR the lottery will do our part in time.
I must take offense to Jacob Green's July 24 letter “Satan's in power.” Tree-hugging, bleeding-heart liberals give off too many lovey dovey, ooey gooey vibes. That is why neither I, nor my allies associate with liberals.
Satan “Beelz” Beelelzubub
From the Internet
Quit whining about smoke
The letter from Bob Donaldson complaining about Julie's re-opening in September as a new restaurant and, horror of all horrors, possibly allowing people who choose to smoke the enjoyment of a cigarette, is typical of the ridiculous mind of the anti-smoking jihadist. If Mr. Donaldson (and every other anti-smoking crybaby) doesn't want to be around people smoking, then DON'T FRICKING GO TO AN ESTABLISHMENT THAT ALLOWS SMOKING and quit your damn whining! 99 percent of the bars/restaurants out there now don't allow smoking. It's way past time for all you anti-smoking jihadists to mind your own business and leave us who choose to smoke the hell alone. In fact, you should be kissing our collective asses since we are providing your new trauma system and a whole host of other health-related pie in the sky programs that you don't think you should have to pay for. Enough whining already.
North Little Rock
Time to speak up
The existing government health-care program — Medicare — serves our family well. Medicaid does good work as well. Would we want Congress to vote to eliminate these programs? No. These programs need improving, and expanding.
Congress also needs to vote to assure health insurance for all — it's merely the next step. Much of today's opposition repeats the alarms of the old debate about starting Medicare. About the start of Social Security, for that matter. We've seen the good far outweighs the bad on these government-run programs.
Don't let lobbyists win in efforts to mislead Congress — we need more government care for the uninsured. The profit-making private firms reject these families as unprofitable, so they have no reason to object if the government does step in to handle these needs. Tell Congress that.
We the People have done this before. When electric companies spread that new power across our nation in the last century, rural families were left out.
Our elected officials properly acted to build the Tennessee Valley Authority, and to send that electricity across this nation, in the Rural Electrification Administration. We worked together to put lights on the prairie, in the Ozarks, and on the farm.
Now, We The People must speak, to insist that Congress enact laws to assure basic health care, insurance, for all. Our greatness is measured by the way we treat those in need.