Letters: Readers on victim rights, Medicaid reform
Victims need longer statute of limitations
I hope that lawmakers will consider extending the statutes of limitations for all victims of abuse including physical abuse, not just sexual abuse victims ("Legislators weighing time limits on sex abuse lawsuits," May 4). It’s time for us as human beings to categorically reject the predatory demoralizing of our children and punish those responsible for enabling it.
Experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse has significant and long-lasting consequences for victims and for society as a whole. Abusers seek to demean, violate, terrorize and dehumanize their victims. If victims are brave enough to speak out, they are often rebuked and disbelieved by the very people and institutions that are supposed to protect them.
Studies have shown that trauma from abuse can result in significant neurological changes in the brain resulting in mental illness and poor decision-making. Studies have also shown that physical, emotional and sexual abuse may be the very foundation of many societal problems like suicide and the opioid crisis. Society is already paying for the consequences of childhood abuse and trauma. It’s a problem that is extraordinarily wide-spread and impacts the most vulnerable among us.
The only way to marginally disrupt this problem is to ensure that the consequences for physical and sexual abuse are substantial enough to make a person think twice about turning a blind eye. If they won’t make the moral decision they’ll have to suffer legal and financial consequences from angry victims, whether it’s the day after it happens or 30 years later, since it’s a pain that never dies.
Rae Melton, Casnovia
Medicaid work mandates would hurt women
The Michigan Medicaid work requirement bill that was passed in the Senate is a huge disappointment to physicians representing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists from across the state. It is a major loss for everyone advocating for women’s health.
To start, this legislation won’t force more people to work. Most Medicaid recipients who can work are already working, and those who are not working are in school or suffering significant barriers such as chronic health conditions, older age, or functional limitations.
Studies show conclusively that work requirements in other safety-net programs have not increased long-term employment, and in fact many individuals and families were left worse off.
This bill will, however, knock thousands off of Medicaid by putting those who are working at risk of losing their health insurance. It requires recipients to verify family income monthly and report a change in income within a strict 10-day window. If they miss that window, they are disenrolled for an entire year.
Those who believe this bill will decrease costs by knocking people out of the program need to realize that any short-term cost-savings from decreasing Medicaid enrollees will create long-term cost increases through additional unintended pregnancies, higher risk pregnancies due to individuals entering pregnancy with poor control of chronic conditions, and a rise in conditions preventable by routine primary care (i.e. cervical cancer).
We should instead be defending Medicaid as a women’s health success story. Girls enrolled in Medicaid as children are more likely to attend college and experience upward mobility. It also plays a critical role in ensuring healthy moms and babies in our state, covering nearly half of all births in Michigan.
Senate Bill 897 will be remembered as a monumental setback to a program that has been a women’s health success story in Michigan.
Sam Jackson, MD candidate