More Access Needed
What does the United States have in common with Ethiopia and Angola? Here's the disturbing answer: the rate of HIV infection among the poorest Americans has reached the same epidemic levels as that of the two impoverished countries.
This shocking new statistic comes from a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stated that HIV was detected in 2.4 percent of American adults living at or below the federal poverty line. That's twice the rate of the general U.S. population and about equal to the HIV prevalence rate among Ethiopians and Angolans.
We've made great strides in treating people with HIV and AIDS. The prescription drugs, long-term care plans and innovative treatments are improving, and Americans with HIV and AIDS are living longer and stronger lives. We've come a long way in the 25 years since this epidemic began.
Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and the CDC report reinforces why we need a World AIDS Day -- to remind us that we still have a long way to go to more effectively manage this disease. People with the lowest incomes still lack access to the care they need -- not only to detect HIV early, but to get the drugs and treatment needed to lead a longer life.
The CDC report -- which surveyed 9,000 heterosexual adults ages 19 to 50 in 23 high-poverty cities -- showed conclusively that the lower the income, the greater the HIV rate. This is because people who live in lower-income areas have the most difficulty accessing medical care, either because they lack health insurance or, more likely, have no health care provider.
This is why UnitedHealthcare, through its United Health Foundation and partners in the communities we serve, funds federally qualified health centers. These centers provide free or low-cost HIV testing in a safe and confidential setting. Additional medical services and education are also available.
-Dr. Sam Ho
(In response to "Be Careful What You Ask For" in the Nov. 4-10 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly.)
We might, or possibly Hamilton himself might seek to answer these questions:
How did Oklahoma become so financially dysfunctional (along with a multitude of other states) that "Uncle Sugar" has to bail it out? That "Uncle Sugar" being not a benevolent federal government per se but the good taxpayers from all states in the Union?
Am I one of those (very few) idiots that actually wants to see an OHP cruiser every 100 yards? What "essential services" does the OHP deliver to us, other than cost us several hundred dollars we don't have in fines and insurance rate increases because we let the speedo creep 8mph over the limit at an inopportune time?
During the boom years of the '90s, how much of the largess went to address the actually essential services of roads and bridges? What rat hole did that money go down? As anyone who spends any time at all driving on the goat tracks that pass for thoroughfares in Oklahoma knows, it sure didn't go for roads and bridges.
Why does Hamilton blow up his own argument concerning the necessity of a state income tax? If the tax is eliminated, according to Hamilton, the real benefits go to tax-dodging millionaires. How so? Millionaires can afford to employ tax accountants to set up shelters to help them dodge taxes (just as he says). Meanwhile the family of four with an income of $50,000/yr -- who can't afford a legal team to set up tax dodges for them -- takes it in the chops with an extra $500 love tap from the OTC.
It appears to be the mindset of the Left in general, that revenues can only be generated directly through taxation.
There's another way to do that. Let business and the people it employs make money. Allow corporations and small businesses to keep their tax breaks - so they can hire more people and make more money. If I understand it correctly, neither corporations or businesses are required to pay a tax on losses, only on profits. So it seems keeping them healthy, viable, and in the black -- and generating tax revenue for government -- is the way to go. Unfortunately, this is the "voodoo economics" derided by the Left.
There's another term for it, Arnold. It's called prosperity.
Job Well Done
(In response to "Stepping Lightly" in the Nov. 18-24 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly.)
Thanks G.K for introducing me to this guy. Just bought the Songs from the Pour House CD. Guess I need to read Urban Tulsa more frequently. I love hearing about the local music scene.
Wow! I feel so privileged to have been a recipient of Joesf's magical gift of music when he performed in Utah. Not only is he super talented with the guitar, he has an amazing way with people and is just darn funny! Can't wait to see you in Utah again Joesf!
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