LETTERS: Cook’s column shows Question 3 deserves voters’ support

To the editor:

I want to thank the Review-Journal in general and columnist Glenn Cook specifically for helping me to decide how to vote on Question 3. I have been straddling the fence on the margins tax issues, listening to both sides make their case. And each side has had some compelling arguments.

However, after I read Mr. Cook’s column (“Who ya’ gonna call? Myth busters,” Sunday Review-Journal) I have come to a decision. In the commentary, Mr. Cook states that he will take myths about Question 3 and debunk them with truths. But when he displays answers such as “businesses have always opposed stupid tax policy” and “the union’s priority” is to “give existing teachers big pay raises,” and labels them as truth, it’s easy to see there are no factual arguments that can be made to vote no.

As with many events in today’s world, it seems that the “no” proponents must rely on fear, opinion and prejudice. So thank you, Mr. Cook, for helping me decide to vote yes on Question 3. I appreciate your efforts.



Regulating medications

To the editor:

The article on pain medications stated that hydrocodone combination products are often prescribed for patients with painful chronic diseases (“Pain medications harder to get,” Sunday Review-Journal). Some patients worry they might have trouble filling their prescriptions because of the new rules that took effect Oct 6. The Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified hydrocodone combination products to schedule II under the Controlled Substance Act. Patients will have to present a written prescription to receive the drug, and doctors will no longer be able to call in a prescription to the pharmacist.

The major change is the requirement for the patients to have an office visit to see the doctor. Unfortunately, some insurance plans will not cover any added cost associated with more visits to the doctor. Equally unfortunate, the added visits might be excessive for the painful chronic disease patient.

However, the regulation is a response to widespread misuse of prescription painkillers. Patients go to multiple physicians to get medications in order to misuse or sell them. The physicians do not call in prescriptions for their patients; one of the staff members does. There is no regulation for that, and there should be.

The physicians entrust one of their employees, which may not always be the best idea. As long as a staff member knows the doctor’s DEA number, that employee can call in prescriptions for a patient and for themselves, family members and friends. The pharmacist never asks if the prescription is for a patient of record with the office, which should be alarming to all physicians, because their names are on the bottle.

Patients with painful chronic diseases, doctors and pharmacists complain the new rule universally restricts access. In reality, the new regulation protects them, and they should be more supportive of it.



Minimum wage

To the editor:

The recent protests by minimum wage workers demanding higher pay signals a serious problem within our economy. Far too many of these jobs are sadly becoming a career choice. Why? Thirty years ago, these jobs were filled by teenagers learning basic work skills. The jobs were more or less training for a work ethic.

Now, many of these jobs are filled with adult workers, some with higher education and degrees. What went wrong here, folks? Did education and training become too expensive, with no guarantee for employment? Is the cost of higher education prohibitive for many parents to offer their children? Do many of these kids turn into adults working in low-pay service jobs? Why?

Did Wall Street and the bankers destroy opportunities by destroying the economy with unethical practices? Is it that politicians do Wall Street’s bidding for personal self-gain, instead of what would be best for the nation?

All too often it is not that the minimum wage worker is lazy or unmotivated to improve; it is that no upward mobility for these workers is possible. Something is seriously wrong when minimum wage workers protest for higher pay because nothing remotely better even exists for them today.



Fighting ISIS

To the editor:

With all due respect to Jerry Mosier (“ISIS strategy,” Sunday Review-Journal letter), I offer the following: A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the universe. Even if ISIS follows only a distorted view of the Quran, it is still a religion.

As for the airstrikes against ISIS, there seems to be a lot of concern and doubt as to whether they are accomplishing anything but destruction of infrastructure. ISIS seems to be getting stronger and moving right along against the Kurds and Iraq fighters. Turkey has said it won’t join the ground war without U.S. troops and that the airstrikes are only helping the Assad regime in Syria.

But there is, in fact, a way that the U.S. could get what it wants in Syria — and ultimately in Iraq, as well — without sending in U.S. forces: by building a new Syrian opposition army capable of defeating both President Bashar al-Assad and the more militant Islamists.



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