To The Daily Sun,
Have you noticed in the media the explosion of deaths and near fatal drug overdoses in Laconia lately? Not Chicago, not Detroit, Laconia! Do you have any idea how many more people would have died but for the Fire Department equipping its medics with Narcan? Nearly everybody agrees that expanding and improving treatment for addicts and abusers has to be part of the solution.
Well, according to Rep. Neal Kurk and the rest of the Republicans on the N.H. House Finance Committee, we can't afford drug treatment any more, or ambulance service, or Meals on Wheels for seniors, or Service Link, which serves as the portal for thousands of seniors with questions about Medicare, veterans needing help applying for VA benefits and low income people looking for job training and housing assistance, or eight to 10 other "optional" services our current Medicaid program provides.
If the state eliminates these services, guess who's going to wind up paying for them with their local property tax?
Why can't we afford any of these services? It's because the Republican majority on the Finance Committee decided, on the basis of what facts can't quite be determined, that the state revenue for the next two years is going to be less than what the governor's budget writers estimate. On top of that they're claiming that the settlements of two lawsuits against the state are eating up all the money. Lawsuits, I might add, that resulted from the Legislature's decimating our formerly excellent network of local mental health centers and monkeying with a tax that was designed to attract more federal dollars to New Hampshire.
David O. Huot
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
Another tragedy on the other side of the weekend, another unarmed black man with a criminal record was shot and killed after allegedly attacking the cop. The media is up in arms. All the usual folks are on the Sunday talk shows saying the usual things and there are marches in the streets. So what do we take from this? All cops are bad? All black men are criminals? Of course not. So what we should do is look at the problem dispassionately with reason and logic?
Seems to me some people make bad choices in life. One of those just might be attacking a cop who is armed, especially if your acting out of emotion. I wasn't there, didn't see events unfold. But to hear some on TV it's hunting season on young black men. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me, given the mass media coverage of these events. Why in the world would any cop put himself in that kind of spotlight unless he's crazy? On the other side of the event there seems to be the attitude of I dare you, you can't tell me what to do and if you try I'll attack/resist and do harm.
Al Sharpton and friends have been stirring racial flames for years and this is the results. With a president who has been the most racially divisive in memory how could things be otherwise? Instead of putting the focus on the real problem the ever community organizer (read rabble-rouser) continues to make the issue race rather then lack of education, family cohesion and values resulting in poverty and crime. The vast majority of of murders of young blacks are committed by other young black men. I don't say that, FBI and Justice Department statics do. If America continues to ignore this it will continue to be a growing problem.
Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg recently said this, "It's controversial but first thing is all your — 95 percent of your murders and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25. That's true in New York, it's true in virtually every city in America." He added "That's where real crime is."
It all looks to me as another case of Obama being unable/unwilling to correctly identify the problem and deal with it effectively.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 09:11
To The Daily Sun,
During a long career in sales, I learned that prospective customers did not always tell me the truth.
For example, "I want to think about it" almost always meant, "I don't want to think about it." It was the same when a prospect told me he couldn't afford my product or service. After all, if I had asked for the same amount of money for an operation to save the life of his child, he would have found that money somehow. "I can't afford it" really means, "I don't want it that much."
Remember this when you hear someone in the Legislature say, "We can't afford it" about some program or other. That person isn't telling you the truth.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 09:06
To The Daily Sun,
Cut the New Hampshire Health Protection Program substance use disorder (SUD) budget? Are they kidding? That would be the most absurd, ridiculous and reckless act to save a few dollars that I have seen in a long, long time.
The addiction problem in our state has become so overgrown because, for the most part, of pharmaceutical companies with billions to spend on spreading highly addictive drugs, so they can make more billions.
The ultimate costs to the budget of New Hampshire and taxpayers, will be many times the amount saved by depriving poor people of the chance to get off addictive substances, opiates in particular.
Highly addictive, legal drugs are being pushed on consumers so aggressively that far more of these medicines are being consumed than are necessary. The SUD component that allows treatment options for substance users, abusers and addicts offers a ray of hope that hasn't even gotten off the ground yet and it is already being considered to be eliminated?
The marketing, research and lobbying that goes on for the purpose of protecting the (over) flow of potentially addictive therapeutic medicines is making these drugs increasingly accessible to those who do not really need them.
Once someone has crossed the line of addiction, there is no cure and there is no deprogramming back to normal. Most eventually die or struggle with recovery off and on for the rest of their lives. A very few manage to stay drug free and treatment funding is a big reason that some recovering addicts manage to get through the initial intensive treatment phase toward longer term success.
The comparatively small amount of funding that has been recently made available could translate into many people staying clean, longer and some actually stay drug free permanently. But we need money to make that happen. Remember, a conservative estimate of the yearly cost of incarceration for one person in New Hampshire is more than $20,000. So, what has been happening is that convicted drug offenders while incarcerated, have less access to viable addiction treatment, many get released prematurely on probation or parole and their addiction takes them right back on to the same path, ergo ... the expensive cycle continues.
Save a dollar and eventually spend 10 dollars is actually what this ridiculous proposal is saying. And it is not just poor and marginalized persons who have been victimized by the over-availability of addictive painkillers that are now supplanted by heroin. Check the web for wealthy celebrities, politicians and talk show hosts who are in recovery from such "medicines".
Members of the House Finance Committee, here is the reality: We need to quadruple funding for SUD, now, not eliminate it. Then, down the line, that investment comes back. Those who vote for the defunding of what has been the best move in decades toward offering chronically addicted persons a chance at a better quality of life need to know that, as sure as the sun will rise, they too are, have, or will be significantly negatively affected by this horrendous scourge that will only get worse and gain momentum. Taking away this small amount of funding will allow far more lives lost and far more eventual cost to our already suffering community.
A&D Recovery Counseling
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 09:02
To The Daily Sun,
I wish to reference a letter to the editor written by Kate Miller which appeared in The Laconia Daily Sun on March 20.
I just want to state the facts. In her letter Ms. Miller spoke about the House proposed budget, one the Senate hasn't even begun work on, and the need for Senator Forrester to be "honest with her constituents". The truth is Senator Forrester has yet to take a stand on the House-proposed budget package.
I see no evidence of "grandstanding" (Miller's words) by the senator when she speaks on this topic. She has always supported nursing homes. What she is doing is demanding that the governor follow the law and give the money to the nursing homes that the Legislature agreed to. The fact is, the governor signed into law the budget the Senate put together, and now wants to disregard the law and take the money from nursing homes to fill a budget hole in 2015.
That sets the record straight.
Edward C. Touhey
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 08:57