As a home health care professional, I was disappointed to see that Medicare again offered cuts to home health. The proposal includes a cut of $1.33 billion in 2023 and additional cuts of more than $2 billion in 2024 and beyond, reaching more than $18 billion over the next decade.
Fortunately, dozens of bipartisan lawmakers are taking action to prevent these devastating cuts from hurting home care patients and their providers by backing the Home Health Care Access Act.
I have seen firsthand how the clinically advanced, cost-effective care we provide helps the homebound members of our community. I hope our state legislators in Washington, DC will recognize the importance of home health care and take action to protect access to care for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Charles Obiala, West Loop
Let immigrants work right away
John Farrell made an excellent point in his recent letter regarding what should be a perfect match between job-seeking migrants and employers in desperate need of help.
It should be noted, however, that federal law prohibits asylum seekers from legally working for six months after filing an asylum claim. Since these forms are complex and often require legal assistance, it may take even longer before a person has the legal right to work.
The common sense solution would be to grant asylum seekers the legal right to work as soon as they are allowed to enter the country.
Without such permission and having no access to any federal benefits, migrants are forced to live on family, friends and charities, or risk deportation by moonlighting.
With proper documentation, on the other hand, employers can fill jobs and these individuals can become productive, tax-paying members of American society.
Patricia Motto, Elmhurst
Vote for mental health on November 8
There is an urgent crisis in Illinois regarding mental health, addictions and developmental disabilities. Every time a tragedy like the Highland Park shooting occurs, there is an outcry for more mental health services, but little progress is ever made. Illinois ranks 35th in mental health spending and 43rd in developmental disabilities spending.
This November, residents of Vernon and Wheeling Townships can make a difference. There is a referendum on the November 8 ballot to establish community mental health councils in each township, which would collect and allocate taxpayers’ money for mental health, addictions and developmental disability services.
Funds are taxed locally and remain local; they are not channeled through the federal, state, or local counties. These councils respond to the unique needs of their communities.
In Vernon Township, the average homeowner would only pay $49 more per year to support a mental health council, but nearly $1.5 million would be raised.
Adopting this referendum would mean:
- Improve the ability to act quickly when families are in crisis.
- Reduce gaps in services, such as long waiting lists or arbitrary thresholds.
- Increase screenings for prevention and early detection.
- Provide comprehensive services targeted to the needs of the local community, ensuring that preventive and therapeutic programs are streamlined, accessible and affordable.
Similar referendums are held on other ballots in the townships of Addison, Lisle, Naperville, Schaumburg, Winfield and Wheeling, and in Will County.
Over 90 mental health councils are currently operating in Illinois, some have been around since the 1960s. Let’s do something about mental health instead of just talking about it.
Joanne Johnson, Buffalo Grove
President, Vote Yes for a Community Mental Health Council in Vernon Township
No more barriers between the CPD and the residents
After the second shooting in a week at a Chicago police station, Superintendent of Police. David Brown is on it: ‘There are several things we can consider doing,’ he said, noting that other police installations across the country have glass barriers and raised desks, reported the Sun-Times in a recent article.
Note to Supt. Brown: We already have a lot of barriers between the community and the Chicago police. We don’t need more. And if the police aren’t equipped enough to deal with the menacing public on dangerous city streets without bullet-proof glass and raised counters — which they now do every day… I don’t even know how to end this phrasing.
My suggestion to Supt. Brown: Keep looking.
Ari Weiner, New East Side
Flooded residents expected to move elsewhere
I disagree with letter writer Kathleen Melia. Rather than applauding the steadfastness of those rebuilding in the paths of hurricanes, I say, “Get out of there, as soon as possible.” This will only get worse as climate change intensifies!
Bindy Bitterman, Downtown
Don’t reward Putin’s bad behavior
To those who might suggest that Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukrainian territory should be recognized, I ask what they would say if he attempted to annex some of the more remote Aleutian Islands from Alaska.
The only things limiting Putin’s advances were the determined Ukrainians and the equipment given to them. Their definition of victory is driving out the Russian attackers; they have no desire to annex any part of Russia. Putin should not be rewarded for his “bad behavior”.
Larry E. Nazimek, Logan Square
Thanks to the former Sox manager
We’ve heard how White Sox fans are so disappointed with the end of our year, but let’s stop for a moment and remember how disappointed we are to lose Tony La Russa.
We can’t ignore that he was a Hall of Fame manager. For so many reasons, he will be missed. Regardless of what happened with the team record, we know Tony tried out at the old college and was a great diplomat.
We wish Tony our best wishes, good health and love.
Louise Bajorek, Burbank