Angry, broke, in pain

I just spent a very hot, humid day being driven to a medical appointment that has left me angry, frustrated, broke and in a lot of pain. Others may recognize these feelings and hopefully with enough of us demanding change we may began to see real progress in this country.

I am considered low income under federal standards as I am legally disabled on a fixed income. I am not considered low income under my state standards (in some states I would be). I receive a program called Quimby [“qualified medical benefits”], but my coverage only pays my Medicare deductible and co-pays.

I have post-polio syndrome. I am in a power wheelchair with numerous problems with my feet and legs. I have a traumatic wound from a bad fall that will not heal. My doctors have told me I must wear special stockings for the rest of my life. These cost over $350 each, I need a pair of them. I am told they will not only save my legs but could even save my life. Medicare pays for only standard stockings, which will cause me more harm then good according to the specialist.

I had to have my son-in-law drive me several hours to a specialty clinic, to find out I could not get the stockings as my insurance will not pay for them. $50 worth of gas later I am left with the fact I may lose one or both of my legs in the future because I have the wrong insurance program.

I make about $25 a month too much for the insurance but not enough to actually pay my bills. I will have many more problems with my feet and legs in the future that the stockings would have prevented, which will end up costing Medicare far more then the stockings. This should not happen here in the U.S. where there is more then enough money for every single one of us to have quality health care coverage. We just have to set our national priorities straight so that each of us, regardless of income, has the same health care coverage as the men and women who make the laws of this country.

Sheila Malone
Waterville ME


I’ve read Santi Suthinithet’s very interesting op-ed (“Should the left celebrate the 4th of July?” PWW 7/5-11) and took the liberty of translating it into Hebrew and publishing it in the Internet discussion forum of the Young Communist League of Israel .

Although the Independence Day celebrations carry a very different meaning in Israel than in the U.S. (because it is historically connected to the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people), still there are very important lessons in your article, that are universal to the left everywhere in the world. The need to be patriotic, and not a national nihilist, in order to truly defend the interests of the people, is something the radical left in Israel needs to be educated about.

Uri Weltmann
Haifa, Israel

What defines public radio?

The other day, I came down to my kitchen and turned on the radio. The program this particular morning was all about the stock market, what oil futures and other commodities were doing and what to look for in the coming days and weeks. I thought I was listening to Bloomberg News, but no … it was National Public Radio (NPR).

More recently the miraculous Colombian army rescue of the three prisoners held by the Revolutionary Colombian Army (FARC) played over and over while Uribe’s blatant disregard of the Colombian Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the fraudulent vote that changed the constitution so Uribe can run for another term was completely ignored.

We thank: Novartis, Exxon Mobil, AstraZeneca, AARP. Then the message: If you would like to become an NPR underwriter-sponsor, please call.

I’ve been listening to NPR for at least 30 years. What has been a somewhat subtle change over those years towards a more corporate view is now quite slanted in that direction.

Please take the “public” out of National —- Radio.

What do you think?

Gabriel Falsetta
Glendale, NY

Annul Chile’s amnesty law

I am a physician married to a Chilean physicist. My husband’s college friends were “disappeared” in 1976. We are beginning a campaign to annul the Chilean amnesty law so that those who disappeared our friends will be brought to justice. We are running half-marathons and marathons in the U.S., Chile and Europe to bring sympathetic individuals together to put pressure on the Chilean government to end this horrible law that pardoned the crimes of the Pinochet dictatorship.

This campaign is still in its beginning stages but we wish to gain your support. We have made a couple of videos to spread the message but we plan a web site soon that will allow individuals to send letters to President Bachelet and the Chilean Congress and Senate. We hope that you will support us as it is time for the impunity that has reigned for 35 years to end. For more information e-mail:

Frances Chavez
Santa Fe NM


Tell Congress:

•No war with Iran.

•Negotiations, not threats and sanctions.

•Oppose H. Con. Res. 362 and other provocative measures.

Call your senators and representatives.

Capitol switchboard:

(202) 224-3121