Letters to the Editor

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Stop means stop; it’s not a suggestion
Editor:
This is a friendly reminder to all Socorro citizens who travel along Nelson Street and Franklin Street. There are STOP signs installed at the intersection of Franklin and School Of Mines Road and across the street at Nelson and School Of Mines Road.

There is only one word on these big red and white signs.: “STOP”  
Nowhere on these signs will you find the word “California” or “Rolling” or “Ignore”…and for good reason. It is just my theory, but I am pretty sure it is because there is a great deal of vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian traffic including, Tech students, Zimmerly Elementary students, Cottonwood Valley Charter students, children on bicycles, disabled folks, Tech professors, lost pets, and the like. You know…other citizens of Socorro besides yourself.
Living on the corner, I have witnessed many near misses and also it is really quite disturbing when it is a cyclist, elderly person, children or a wheelchair-bound person who is cursed at by the person who ran the stop sign!  
Plus, the past two months there have been numerous close calls because the new black street lamp wasn’t working. It should go without saying that caution while driving in pitch black darkness is a high priority. Sure, no one can see you run the stop sign, but on the other hand you cannot see anything in that darkness either.
Now then, I have seen a few folks pulled over by a police car after performing a California, rolling or ignore stop and I assume they are being cited by the officer. I am not trying to frighten you. I am only asking that you remind yourself each day when you wake up and get in your vehicle that you are not alone in this beautiful little city of Socorro.
One last reminder: My research has shown that most traffic violations that end up in court here are dismissed due to FTA (Failure To Appear) which means the officer didn’t show and your case is dismissed. That appears to be standard in Socorro, but don’t let that be your guiding light when you approach any stop sign. Instead, try to think of driving responsibly with the sole intent of not hitting someone with your car as you travel around our pretty town.
Suzan R. Chilcoat, Socorro


Don’t  believe everything you hear
Editor:
Martinez’s government has already hired someone to do an (expensive) overhaul of Medicaid. They have been going around the state giving presentations and taking public feedback. Here are the reasons given for the overhaul, which you can find at the Human Services website:
1. Medicaid spending will rise to 16 percent of New Mexico’s total state budget in fiscal year 2011-12.
2. Reform will add 130,000-175,000 recipients = $300 million to $600 million from 2014-19.
3. Even without health care reform, state spending will need to increase by 20 percent by 2019 to cover Medicaid.
Read it carefully. It clearly says that health care reform will add costs and that those costs will be greater than the 20 percent increase that will occur without health care reform.
That is not the case. It is untrue enough as to make the word “lie” really quite unavoidable.
In fact, because under Health Care Reform the federal portion will be so much higher than now (96 percent over the years 2014-19 as opposed to the 75-80 percent it is now), state costs will increase only 3 percent while 77 percent of previously uninsured adults will be insured. (Yes, we need to survive to 2014 when reform is fully in place).
(My numbers are from the Kaiser Foundation and are for the “Enhanced Outreach Scenario” which assumes that the state tries to recruit enrollees. In a state where 20 percent of the children who are eligible for Medicaid are not enrolled — a very un-enhanced scenario — the additional cost increase is likely to be much less then 3 percent).
HSD’s numbers are their own estimate. Its high cost of $600 million for the 6-year period differs from Kaiser’s ($278 million) by over $300 million. (100 percent)!
Earlier, Gov. Martinez vetoed SB 38/370, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Act passed with bipartisan support. It would have brought in millions of immediate federal funds allotted to help states create their exchanges to comply with reform.
Evidently, the current government is assuming a no-reform scenario, even though it is law. (Perhaps they believe it will be defunded and the jobs that will be created for the health care industry are not important to them; nor the lower health insurance premiums that will result from a larger pool of insured and from lowered emergency room costs).
This language is from HSD: “Research tells us…everyone…uses health care resources more wisely if they have some “skin in the game”…increase everyone’s sense of responsibility…ask people to help pay a little bit for the cost of their care…” (Read “co-pays”.)
(Poor people are just going wild, getting unnecessary procedures.) In fact, a new study by the Rand Corporation says co-pays deter people from going to the doctor, because they have to pay even to have the discussion about free preventive care. (And since they’ve de-funded Headstart, women won’t be able to work to make the co-pay). At least they will improve people’s behavior, if not their health.
I might keep an open mind about some parts of the “modernization” if they hadn’t begun with a pack of lies.
Jan Deininger, Socorro