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Letters to the Editor 4/26

April 27, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/26



Protect our kids



To the editor:

April is National child Abuse prevention month. During the month of April, our citizens may notice The Children's Memorial Flag will be flown at Bester School, Hagerstown Police Department and other locations in Hagerstown.

This flag is a simple, moving image - a red field depicting blue, paper-doll-like figures of children holding hands. In the center, the white chalk outline of a missing child symbolizes the children lost to violence.

Created by a 16 year-old student in Alameda County, California, the Children's Memorial Flag honors each lost child and raises public awareness about the continuing problem of violence against children.

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The increasing number of reported child abuse cases in our county alarms the Washington County Family Violence Council and it participating agencies. During the year 2000 (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31) we statistically tracked 842 instances of domestic violence that occurred not only the city but in the county as well. Of those 842 incidents, 49 percent or 417 were recorded as children present during the actual confrontation.

Five of the 417 incidents listed the children as abused. Immediate intervention was sought and received for these cases. Alcohol was listed as the primary circumstance in 20 per cent of the incidents with children present. The council has designated child abuse as well as substance abuse as primary issues for participating agencies.

These agencies are using our statistical information to review and recommend changes in identified gaps for service on behalf of children in need (abused and or neglected). Although the changes will not occur overnight, the Council applauds the efforts by our members to address this horrific problem.

Just as important is public awareness of child abuse., Our citizens can help prevent child abuse by supporting prevention programs, volunteering their time with programs that help vulnerable children and their families. Educate yourself on what child abuse is.

Know the signs; report the abuse to the proper authorities (local police or Child Protection Services). Who knows, maybe the child you chose to help may one day be president of the United States or will just become a better parent to our next generation of children.

Cheryl A. Eversole

Hagerstown

Support SB 125



To the editor:

Ask your Congressman to support Senate Bill 125 which provides substantial reduction in the price of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

Manufacturers of prescription drugs engage in price discrimination practices that compel older Americans to pay substantially more for prescription drugs that the drug manufacturers most favored customers, such as health insurers, HMOs and the federal government. In some cases, older Americans pay over 15 times more for their drugs than favored customers.

This discriminatory pricing sustains manufactures' annual profits of $20 billion, but causes financial hardship and impairs the health of millions of older Americans. More than one in eight older Americans are forced to choose between buying their food or buying their medicines.

Most federally funded health care programs, including the Medicaid program the Social Security act and programs administered by the Veterans Health Administration, The Public Health Service and the Indian Health Service, obtain prescription drugs for their beneficiaries at low prices. Beneficiaries under the Medicare program under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act are denied this benefit.

Implementation of this act would reduce prescription drugs prices for Medicare beneficiaries by more than 40 percent. In addition to improving the well -being of older Americans it would lower the costs to the federal taxpayer for the Medicare program.

Call your Congressman today and ask him to support legislation for prescription drug fairness for seniors, Senate Bill 125.

Mary Butts

Chambersburg, Pa.

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