Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: disability lifeline

April
12th

BUDGET: Zarelli editorial fails readers

The News Tribune’s recent editorial regarding the backlash from Sen. Joe Zarelli’s comments on state disability programs (MCS and HEN) appears to have missed the main issue.

Zarelli made a public appeal for the termination of these programs on the grounds that recipients are eligible as a result of life choices and substance abuse. This is untrue. The program rules preclude eligibility for individuals who are disabled primarily due to substance abuse.

Rather than expose Zarelli’s falsehoods, the TNT’s editorial board has decided to defend him as one of the “good guys in Olympia” who “understands state spending.” Unfortunately,

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April
6th

BUDGET: Don’t cut benefits to the disabled

Re: “Zarelli draws federal disability, eyes state cuts” (TNT, 4-6).

I have a brother who, through no fault of his own, is a lifelong schizophrenic. He depends on the services state Sen. Joseph Zarelli wants to cut.

Most of the people who depend on these services are mentally ill, not dependent because of “poor life choices.” Most people who make lifelong “poor choices” are mentally ill to begin with.

Shame on the politicians who want to cut out the services that needy people are so desperately dependent on. And extra shame on politicians like Zarelli who are so blantantly

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March
19th

BUDGET: Most vulnerable would feel the pain

I am writing today as the executive director of Tacoma Community House and a member of the Pierce County Human Services Coalition regarding the current budget negotiations taking place in Olympia.

We hear a lot about responsible budgeting and sustainability and want to talk about how irresponsible and unsustainable it would be to adopt the budget proposed by the Senate Republicans. As you noted in your editorial (TNT, 3-18), this budget would rip even larger holes in our already fragile safety net by eliminating the Disability Lifeline (health benefits for those unable to work), the New Americans Program and

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March
6th

BUDGET: State can be compassionate and save money

Re: “How to get to a balanced, sustainable state budget – with no gimmicks” (Viewpoint, 3-4).

It’s just plain contradictory that state Sens. Jim Kastama and Joseph Zarelli are calling for reform, as they did in their guest commentary, but also chose to eliminate the kind of reformed program our state should be protecting: Disability Lifeline.

This program provides essential health care access for people with disabilities to manage chronic conditions, maintain stability and get back on their feet. But more than just being a true lifeline for 20,000 of our most vulnerable, it saves the state millions of

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Dec.
1st

BUDGET: Cuts already have been devastating

As the executive director of AIDS Housing Association of Tacoma (AHAT), I see daily how the cuts already implemented within our state have left social services bleeding and weakened. Further cuts will diminish our state’s ability to help its most vulnerable citizens as they fall through the holes of our shrinking safety net.

We are facing increased challenges in serving our clients due to decreases in adult dental care, Medicaid and Disability Lifeline. For AHAT’S clients, many of whom are disabled and unable to work, these cuts have been devastating.

At a recent town hall meeting with Department of Social

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