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Why we came here to protest

Members National Nurses United rally Friday Daley Center Plazpush for 'RobHood tax' financial trades fund better schools health care.

Members of National Nurses United rally Friday at Daley Center Plaza to push for a "Robin Hood tax" on financial trades to fund better schools and health care. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 2, 2012 9:25AM

No wonder people in this country start a ruckus at protests. Apparently that is the only way an issue will be covered on television.

On Sunday, I, along with thousands of others, left the comfort of our homes to travel to another city and march over three miles in 95-degree heat because we have paid attention enough to know the world is too invested in the expensive killing and maiming business when there are other ways to handle problems. Start by signing the International Criminal Court treaty.

While 50 brave young soldiers denounced the “lie of war” they had experienced firsthand and threw their medals toward the NATO meeting place, most TV stations announced only the five-minute kerfuffle at the end of the entire, peaceful day.

Folks, you are being cheated of your democracy and your humanity with coverage like this.

Debbie Metke, Milwaukee

Nurses deserved to be heard

Coverage of the NATO protests consistently lacked details about why protesters were protesting. The editorial “What do the protesters want?” summarized a few, but some groups had well-planned events that could have been covered.

For instance, National Nurses United rallied to support a “Robin Hood tax” to generate billions of dollars from fairer taxation of the financial sector to save the social safety net at home and globally. Big banks and investment funds would pay a tiny tax of less than 50 cents on $100 of trades — often less than half a cent on $100. It’s a sales tax on Wall Street to protect schools, hospitals and lifesaving AIDS medicines. I wish there had been more coverage.

Cynthia Changyit Levin,

Morton Grove

Strengthen home care

Recently, legislators made the prudent decision to pass the Budgeting for Results law, holding Illinois accountable to fund only programs with proven effectiveness. Budgeting for Results lays out the state’s commitment to home and community-based care, including through Medicaid programs.

The development of Illinois home-care system has been a challenging venture over the past several decades; and yet the home-care system is hardly prepared for the aging of the baby boom generation.

The proposed cuts to home-care programs through Medicaid budget proposals contradict the call to responsibility outlined in Budgeting for Results.

Proposals include increasing the eligibility threshold for Medicaid community-living waivers. However, our recent research for a report reveals that community-living waiver cuts will result in an increase in utilization of hospitals, emergency rooms and nursing facilities — more costly options than home care.

We call upon our legislators to strengthen, not weaken, their commitment to community living for Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.

Kristen Pavle, associate director,

Center for Long-Term

Care Reform

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