Regarding “Insurers seek average rate hike of 18.7% to homeowners’ policies” (Nov. 22): Seniors on low fixed incomes can be forgiven for concluding that they are a nuisance our culture wishes did not exist. They are being driven off a cliff by steep hikes in mortgage insurance (almost 20 percent) renter’s insurance (40 percent), utilities (14 percent) and increases in Medicare premiums, ACA premiums and virtually everything else.
Homelessness is a visceral fear for elders aware that there are not enough shelters, nursing home beds or affordable housing for everyone. Many have no families. Cuts to food stamps and food programs negatively impact their health. So does unaffordable dentistry.
Continuing threats to Social Security and Medicare by elected officials spawn terror in citizens whose only crime is aging. Indifference to the well-being of seniors is elder abuse being practiced on an ever broadening scale, sometimes by good but oblivious officials. Public silence and non-attendance at public hearings enable this.
The North Carolina Rate Bureau needs to hear from every single citizen concerned about the mortgage insurance increase by Dec. 29. There are seniors in our community whose only hope is that their fellow citizens will loudly and proudly join the “nuisance” ranks before their time.
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Regarding “Experts alarmed by CDC ban on certain words” (Dec. 18): On Sunday my first-grade granddaughter read to me from her “book” that she had written at school. The pages were bound, numbered and used references that she had researched at the school library. She was proud of her accomplishment in the first semester of first grade. I marveled at her public school teacher who so early in an academic career teaches the value and power of words.
Returning home to my Sunday newspaper I read about the Washington Post story of Dec. 16 reporting that the Trump administration has issued guidance to divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid the use of words or phrases that include: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based” in budget proposal documents.
The contrast between the two written word experiences struck me like a brick. The connection of program resourcing to belief agendas by banning words is dangerous censorship and a threat to our democracy. I pray that my granddaughter continues to revel in a world of free press, expression and the power of words – and that neither of us ever see government censorship take the small leap from banning words to burning books.