You may be part of the problem
Name any problem we face today in our country, and I will absolutely tell you who is to blame for it. Whether it's the bad economy, the sad state of health care, the immigration problem, the violence in our country, or any other problem we face, I can tell you who is to blame for it all.
It is you, the apathetic majority of Americans.
I believe we have three groups of people in this country. We have a small percentage of people on the left and a small percentage on the right who strongly believe in their side having the correct answers to all these problems. I honestly admit that I include myself in that percentage who believe (or used to anyway) that the Republican party had the correct answers.
But, it is the vast majority of Americans in the middle, who do absolutely nothing, that are to blame for the problems we face in America today. If those people would wake up, we could take our country back from the do nothing politicians we have in office today. As long as you remain silent, these professional politicians will never do the right thing for our country. They are too busy catering to either of those small percentage groups.
How many times have you read a newspaper story, or watched a news program and were shocked at something totally stupid being done by our government? For example - how much our country is in debt, but we keep borrowing, or how we give billions of dollars to countries who hates us, and forsake our own needy here, or how illegal aliens have more rights and benefits than some of our own citizens. I could go on and on with these ridiculous examples. And, I don't care which side of the issue you are on, liberal or conservative.
How about getting involved and trying to do something? Do what, you ask? How about holding our do nothing politicians responsible? There are term limits for them, it's called the next election. Let them know how you feel about something, and that you want something done about it.
You can't tell me that if that vast majority of apathetic people would wake up and get involved, that we couldn't take our country back.
So, to that large middle percentage group of apathetic Americans, I say it's time to wake up before it's too late for this country. Or, the next time you read or see something you don't like that the government is doing, know that you had a hand in it by not getting more involved.
Health insurance helps everyone
The Affordable Health Care Act was conceived to be a safety net for those under the poverty level, for students struggling with costs, for the thousands who suffer catastrophic illness rejected by insurance companies.
People desperately poor with no chance for health coverage are in our midst by the millions; still, they can be rejected for health care in states, including Florida, that rejected federal Medicaid funds. Without Medicaid dollars, a person must have earnings of $11,969 a year before the health care safety net can allow doctors to get paid. For those beyond these earnings but without health insurance, a 1 percent penalty against earnings will be levied.
Upon admission to most hospitals, the patient who can pay shores up about $1,000 on their billings for those who cannot pay. In one instance about which I am aware, a poor person has racked up more than $280,000 in costs to local hospitals and doctors treating that person desperate in an emergency, too poor to pay.
If Florida's governor is allegedly helping the rich and the corporations then something is missing when doctors and hospitals have to lose well-earned dollars for their specialties.
Let's Put Children First
What is the first thing that often comes to mind when we think of pinwheels? Most of us would agree that it would be children. The sound of children laughing as they play with their pinwheels, children running around and just doing what they do best, being children.
On the heels of some horrific abuse cases in our county, it might be hard to picture the carefree life of a child. It is now more than ever that we need to do what we can as a community to raise awareness and educate ourselves on the signs of abuse and neglect.
April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month. What better way to raise awareness than with Pinwheels for Prevention?
Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign that began as a grassroots initiative through Prevent Child Abuse America. Its primary focus is on child abuse prevention. The pinwheel is a reminder of the carefree, happy life that each child deserves. Raising awareness in our community provides an opportunity for us to celebrate children, help strengthen families and reminds us that we need to protect our littlest victims.
As you pass through downtown Brooksville, look for the pinwheel gardens around the courthouse and reflect on what they symbolize. I invite each of you to plant your own pinwheel garden in support of children everywhere and to serve as a reminder to others that we need to invest in our children and lay the foundation for a healthy, happy life.
Janine L. Hammett, RN
Program Manager of the Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando County