Poisoned water and poisonous healthcare policy were featured in two of the weekend’s best editorials. Number One comes from the Wilmington Star News. In “CFPUA, Give Us the Answers Right Now,” the authors demand an immediate series of answers regarding the public health crisis that surrounds the region’s poisoned water supply:
“Each answer we get to questions about GenX, the unregulated toxic chemical in our drinking water, seems to raise five more. In fact, we’re not sure any important GenX-related question has been adequately answered. We’re betting people who drink the tainted water would agree.”
The editorial then goes on to explain how local official at the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority are failing to act with requisite urgency regarding water that may well be poisoning hundreds of thousands of people every day:
“Friday, at a special meeting of the CFPUA board, Executive Director Jim Flechtner refused to say why he had not informed board members and the public about GenX.
‘I will let the review process run its course,’ he said.
Here’s the thing, Mr. Flechtner: We — and we suspect the thousands of people CFPUA serves — are no longer content with letting GenX-related issues “run their course.”
As New Hanover commissioner and CFPUA board member Pat Kusek told the StarNews when informed of Flechtner’s response: ‘That’s unacceptable. People need to tell the truth about what they did and why they did it.’
So far, all Chemours and CFPUA are providing is lots of posturing and deflection. Meanwhile, there’s a critical shortage of timely and complete answers.
Commissioner Kusek is absolutely right: That is not acceptable.”
“We agree, and we also hope the Senate comes up with a ‘generous’ alternative to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It was never perfect, or even close, and now it’s shedding people as insurers pull out of markets or raise premiums beyond what most can afford. That’s not only a result of inherent flaws in the system but because the Trump administration isn’t supporting it as the law requires. If subsidies aren’t provided to cushion premiums, and if penalties aren’t assessed to push young, healthy Americans into coverage, a collapse is possible. So Congress must either shore up the current system or write a better bill.
The House utterly failed — as even Trump seems to realize. The Senate must do better — but the signs aren’t good. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell picked 12 senators — all men, all Republicans — to draft a bill in secret. There will be no hearings, no opportunity for the public to see what will be proposed….
So it’s anybody’s guess whether he’ll applaud a Senate bill that’s every bit as miserly as the House bill, or if he really means what he said Wednesday. But if he truly wants Americans to have adequate coverage at affordable costs, he must remain engaged in the process. He must call for preserving the Medicaid expansion, which even many Republican governors accepted. He must make sure that people with pre-existing medical conditions aren’t excluded from coverage. He must protect middle-aged or older Americans from higher premiums that the AHCA would expose them to, according to the CBO.
We’ll take the president at his word that he does want a better health care system created in his name. But he has to do more than make lofty pronouncements. He must stay engaged in the process. When he signs a bill into law, Americans will know if it’s ‘very, very, incredibly well-crafted’ — or a disaster.”