Letters to the editor
Missourians want the dignity that comes with labor
On May 29, l989, I suffered a broken neck as a passenger in a car accident.
I was your typical 20-year-old guy. I was going to college, starting my summer job, and was looking forward to my summer vacation. All of my dreams were suddenly shattered when the car stopped rolling. I lost the ability to run, walk, stand, dress myself, feed myself, scratch my nose and a million other things that I wanted to do.
I was paralyzed from the neck down. I thought life was over.
Gradually, thank God, I rediscovered that life is worth living. Instead of relying on brute force in charging through life, I learned to use my head. I can't walk but I can use my wheelchair. I can't use my arms but I can type with a stick in my mouth. There are ways of doing things. I went back to school in 1990 and got a degree in political science at Missouri University.
I now work for Services for Independent Living where I do peer support at Rusk Rehabilitation Center for other people who have gone through similar circumstances as me.
I see people every day struggle to reconstruct their life and move on. Life is tremendously difficult for them but a miracle of the mind often happens. With determination and the help of family and society people reclaim life.
Governor Blunt is calling for drastic cuts in services for people with disabilities. He wants to eliminate the Non Medicaid Eligible program which provides attendant Care to the most severely disable people. He is calling for the elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disability program which enables people with disabilities who work to keep their Medicaid by paying a premium to the state. He wants to lower the amount that a person can earn to qualify for Medicaid which will kick some people off and make disabled people pay more for their medical care.
He wants to discontinue paying for "specialty services" such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen etc.. The cuts are truly broad deep and hurtful. The cuts will cause harm to Missourians on many different levels. It will diminish the quality of life for thousands of people.
It will put people in nursing homes. It will cost the tax payers more money when people are forced to be hospitalized instead of receiving adequate preventive care.
It will cause undue hardship on families and loved ones of the disabled. It will cost the state millions in federal reimbursement on Medicaid. It will cost the state tax revenue from disabled workers who are no longer able to work.
Governor Blunt said when he defended the cuts, "Missourians want the dignity that comes from labor."
I submit that I have labored and worked hard to rebuild my life and then contribute to society. These cuts undermine the labor and toil of hard working people with disabilities who are just trying survive. It would be a travesty for the working disabled to be only rewarded by working just to pay for their medical care. I believe one of the roles of government is to provide a helping hand to the most disadvantaged because it is the right thing to do.
In the final analysis, helping the disabled helps yourself because disability can happen to anyone at anytime. I know that all too well.
-- Bob Pund
The case of Terry Schiavo
Dear editor :
ANGELS DON'T DIE
After a very tragic twist of fate
Left the daughter immobilized
He claims in a vegetative state
Rehabilitation her mate denies
This story just breaks my heart
As I listen to her family's cries
A husband decided at the start
That his sickly wife should die
Conveniently a husband states
Although without a living will
She had told to him of her fate
If she were to get extremely ill
But only after he was engaged
While still married to his wife
Soon after the war was waged
A fight to end a daughter's life
Did not allow her to go outside
Have a breeze flow in her hair
For 12 years she must hide
He alone deciding doctor's care
Another court believes his lies
Removing a feeding tube again
With only days before she dies
I believe the decision is insane
I wonder who you would trust
To decide that you should die
This man that for another lusts
Or family you know would cry
After his broken wedding vow
To love for better or for worse
Her right to life is not allowed
Soon she must ride in a hearse
I believe he just seeks revenge
After years his wish went awry
He's still determined to avenge
Yet Heavenly angels do not die
--Thelma Shutters, Schell City