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Forum, Feb. 10: NH insulin bill will save lives

Published: 2/9/2020 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 2/9/2020 10:00:13 PM
NH insulin bill will save lives

The price of insulin has tripled over the past decade despite no changes in the cost of production. The high cost has forced some into debt or to ration their life-sustaining medication in order to afford it. The unnecessarily high price of insulin has been detrimental to my financial stability because it can be impossible to afford living expenses on top of the cost of medication. As a diabetic, there have been times when I’ve had to make the difficult choice between paying for my insulin or paying other expenses that those without diabetes would consider necessary — like student loans, car loans or living expenses. Because insulin is so expensive, some who need it have to take drastic measures like rationing or skipping doses to extend their insulin supply, which can result in long-term harm or even death.

The legislation introduced in New Hampshire by state Sen. Dan Feltes and state Rep. Garrett Muscatel that would cap insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply for insured patients is a huge step in the right direction and will save lives.

My medication isn’t a choice. It is essential to my life. Pharmaceutical companies know that, and therefore they can set any price for insulin and know people will have to pay it. No one should die or go bankrupt because they can’t afford a medication they need to survive.



A democracy, but can we keep it?

This past month, I have not been able to leave the news cycles. I have not been able to play music, to read or knit, for I am obsessed with the politics of our day.

Do I remember or am I reconstructing the past when I think of my father deciding to leave China, not to return to his home country, Germany, devastated by war, but to immigrate to either Australia or the U.S.? He sought a democracy where, above all, the judiciary could not be co-opted by an autocratic leadership, a democracy where balance of power could hold corruption in check. The U.S. Constitution gave just such guarantees, and we immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, sailing on the last passenger ship leaving China before the Communists took over Shanghai. I was 6½ years old.

When I turned 10, my father and I raised our hands to swear allegiance to this country and became “naturalized” citizens. We were told that we had all the privileges of a “born” citizen, except that we could never become president of the United States. Upon hearing this, I cried.

“But Meme,” my father tried to console me, “do you want to be president of the United States?”

Of course, I had no such ambition, but I could not understand why, after answering their questions and swearing allegiance, we would not be just like every other citizen. What did it matter where we were born?

Now I realize, more than ever, that uppermost in the minds of our Founding Fathers was the fear of foreign intervention. They labored long and hard to create a new form of government unlike the monarchies in Europe, one free of autocratic power, a government for and by the people with liberty and justice for all.

Where is our democracy today? Money and power determine liberty and justice, and “for and by the people” cannot hold sway when elections are bought, compromised and stolen. Where is our democracy? Can we recover it? Can we keep it?



Checks, balances have disappeared

The U.S. Constitution and democracy are under siege. The first is arguably the greatest political document in human history; the latter is what has made us a shining light in the world.

The Founding Fathers didn’t see it coming: When a political party controls 2.5 branches of government, the checks and balances of constitutional government can disappear overnight. Indeed, power does corrupt, and we have just learned that the president is above the law. Regardless of party affiliation, the president can ignore lawful subpoenas, refuse to hand over requested documents and decline to cooperate with lawful investigations. Presidents can ask foreign countries to interfere in our elections and can leverage foreign policy to their benefit.

Add that to other constitutional “amendments” by President Donald Trump and the Republicans. Freedom of the press has been replaced with “the press is the enemy of the people.” A democratically elected president has only three years to nominate judges, because the Senate will not perform its advise and consent role during an election year (see: Merrick Garland). The wall between church and state is slowly crumbling (Christian sharia lite?). Witnesses are no longer allowed in the pursuit of justice.

And white supremacy, patriarchy and xenophobia are back, baby!

Democracy? Elections have been corrupted by big money (Citizens United), foreign interference, outright lies and widespread misinformation, voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Then what do we call ourselves now? Corporatocracy? Autocracy? Oligarchy? Plutocracy? Theocracy? Monarchy? It’s up for grabs.


New London

Political parties should come last

Regardless if you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or independent, you are an American. Your family comes first, then country and all the armed forces personal who gave their lives protecting our constitution and democracy. Then it’s your friends and relatives. After all these things, your political party comes last.

We have a president who lied, cheated and sold out this country, along with others in his administration and party. Many witnesses testified that he put his interests ahead of the country’s.

The biggest fight in our government today is for power, not for the welfare of our democracy. If you have been watching the impeachment hearings and not Fox News, you will have seen that this president is a crook and a liar. Russian President Vladimir Putin taught him well.

God bless the United States of America.



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