Thursday, November 29, 2007

CHIP and Medicaid

CHIP and Medicaid

This article on Austin American Statesman’s website by Corrie MacLaggan reports on the unusually large percentage of people who qualify for CHIP and/or Medicaid yet do not take advantage of it. CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and Medicaid offer free (in the case of Medicaid) or extremely affordable health insurance to underprivileged children. According to this article there are currently about 850,000 Texas children who are eligible to receive CHIP and Medicaid benefits yet are not enrolled in either program. To help reach out to the families in need, call centers have been created and churches have been contacted to help spread the word. It seems as though these families who can not provide health care for their children to not know how truly important it is to have health care and do not know how accessible it is for them to get it. I think that Texans should do a better job in spreading this word to help more families. In the article they use the excuse that Texas is such a big state- it’s difficult to implement something on such a large scale. The size of Texas should not be used as any sort of excuse. If anything, the size of Texas should make it that much more important to help needy children who are not as fortunate as others. I think that we should send out CHIP and Medicaid representatives to these cities and towns where high percentages of the residents qualify for the programs. I think we should more actively seek out these people rather than just using call centers- which have a tendency to seem impersonal. It is a shame that there are programs created specifically to help all these people yet they might not have any idea they even qualify. Texas needs to help out its poor citizens to assure a brighter future.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Golf Course Blog

Lions Municipal Golf Course Blog

I agree with Janna's commentary in her blog about the golf course. As a student who is struggling to pay for an apartment, books, and tuition, I sympathize with those who are in need of affordable living situations- particularly those in college. I think that helping those who are trying to pay for college on their own is the best kind of help that can be offered. Yes, that golf course might be a local Austin tradition and could possibly hold lots of sentimental value, but a golf course can be anywhere. You can always relocate it to a different place and just because it is physically in a different place, as long as it is still around the golfers will still go to it and still feel the same emotional ties to it. Housing, however, is a different story. With housing, location is everything. With the demand for affordable housing so high right now, Austin needs to be thinking about the people who are having difficulty supporting themselves, especially if they are parents and need to take care of children. Conclusively, this issue needs to be addressed with those in need in mind. We need to think about what is really necessary in this situation- and it's not golfers. It's the people who can't afford any other living situations.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Scare Tactics

Annual Halloween Scare Tactic on Sex Offenders Doesn't Improve Public Safety

Grits for Breakfast has posted this article about a Halloween “round up” of all the registered sex offenders to make sure they are not welcoming trick-or-treaters. They require the sex offenders to report to a specified locale between certain hours of the night to make sure they are all in the right place at the same time. If they fail to report there it could result in jail time needing to be served. This new rule has been justified by the extreme amount of children roaming the streets at night, therefore increasing their danger of abuse by a sex offender. Although this reasoning does make some sense, the author and I tend to disagree. The author points out numerous statistics that prove that 93% of sexual assaults on children happen with people they know as opposed to complete strangers. So statistically speaking, the risk of a sex offender attacking an unknown child is significantly lower. The author also points out all of the other problems that occur Halloween night which tend to be even more prevalent. Graffiti, vandalism, drunk driving, and other crimes are extremely heightened on Halloween night. Perhaps instead of patrolling the houses of sex offenders to make sure they’ve reported to their specified locale, the police should concentrate their efforts on keeping our streets safer and protecting our city. Also, another thing to realize is that almost all children go trick or treating with parental supervision, which would make it much more difficult for a sex offender to attack.