Regarding “States scramble to overcome Congress’ failure to move on children’s health program” (Oct. 8): When Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program to expire, it put the health insurance of over 256,000 North Carolina children in jeopardy. CHIP, which has enjoyed wide bipartisan support, covers children in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid and lack access to affordable private insurance coverage. When my son was born six weeks early, we were incredibly fortunate to have health insurance that covered nearly all of the $75,000 hospital bill for the hospital stay for me and for him. With so much to worry about at that time, we were lucky that hospital costs weren’t on the list.
Without access to CHIP, families who find themselves in a situation like ours might not get the care they need, or if they do, they might face financial devastation. Congress should act as soon as possible to restore funding for the CHIP program. Without these funds, access to affordable health care will be out of reach for many children. No one wins when families are forced to make tough choices around their children’s health – restoring CHIP is the right thing to do.
Travel ban ‘anti-Muslim’
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Regarding “Judge: Newest travel ban ‘same maladies’ as previous version” (Oct. 18): The Trump administration’s recent Islamophobic proclamation, or Muslim Ban 3.0, maintains inhumane travel restrictions on many Muslim-majority countries, harkening back to the days of the institutionalized xenophobia we saw in the time of laws like the 19th-century Chinese Exclusion Act. By targeting mostly Muslim countries, this policy further demonizes and dehumanizes Muslims, leading to an institutional form of Islamophobia.
There is a saying that Jim Crow was more than “water fountain laws.” These laws reduced African-Americans to second-class citizens and normalized interpersonal and institutional oppression. Anti-Muslim laws have a similar impact, reducing Muslims to second-class citizens and further increasing violence against us. It wasn’t that long ago that we witnessed a manifestation of anti-Muslim bigotry when three Muslim students were murdered in Chapel Hill. It is beyond time to vigorously organize against all structural oppressions targeting people based on their religion, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, immigration status or background of any kind.
Regional Organizer with Project South Raleigh, NC
Regarding “No penalties for Tar Heels after NCAA investigation” (Oct. 14): As an alumnus, I am disturbed and perturbed at the behavior of my university as it confronted and now accepts the conclusion of the NCAA investigation. No one was responsible, no one held accountable and no one has yet apologized for bringing shame upon the university and its reputation. The silence is embarrassing.