ON YOUR MIND: Affordable prescriptions, body cameras and rising early to vote

Voters fill up most of the privacy booths at Clark State's Turner Studio Theater during the first day of early voting Tuesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Voters fill up most of the privacy booths at Clark State's Turner Studio Theater during the first day of early voting Tuesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: The letters to the editor and Facebook comments below appeared on the Ideas and Voices page Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Access to affordable prescription drugs and heath care threatened Bill Hardy, President & CEO, Equitas Health

As Ohioans face a public health/economic crisis, access to affordable healthcare and prescription drugs is crucial. The pharmaceutical industry is attempting to dismantle one program that already ensures access to low-cost care and medications – the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

ExploreVOICES: Vote. Local man’s mom died of coronavirus before she could

Community health centers, like Equitas Health, use the 340B program to provide affordable, lifesaving medical care and prescription drugs. Many pharmaceutical companies recently have targeted this program in order to increase their own profits.

ExplorePHOTOS: Long lines form in Montgomery County as early voting begins

Community health centers in Ohio provide care to 800,000 patients, regardless of ability to pay. Patients with and without insurance – many of whom live with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, HIV —cannot afford critical prescription drugs due to high copays and deductibles. The 340B program is meant to make those drugs affordable, not line the pockets of drug manufacturers.

Without the 340B program, our community faces decreased access to care for so many Ohioans. Corporate greed cannot compromise access to affordable care and medications in Ohio.

LAIL’S ARREST BEGS QUESTIONS ABOUT BODY CAMERAS IN DAYTONJared Grady, Dayton

Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: Dayton City Commission accepted a a recommendation from a police reform committee Monday to purchase body cameras. This letter was submitted before that decision. Grandy, Dayton’s former community-police coordinator, resigned from his job May 30 following protests here related to the death of George Floyd’s in Minneapolis.

The City of Dayton is the largest municipality in Ohio that does not have body cameras, at least that’s what it seems. There are several peculiar elements of the controversial arrest of George Lail on Sept. 7 .

Lail was pulled over for apparently running a red light, but this reasoning is questionable considering Dayton Police Department’s history of engaging in pretextual stops. The video shows Dayton police officers struggling to arrest Lail and resorting to what is clearly excessive force; though DPD and defenders of the status quo argue that the officers conduct was completely reasonable and professional. The first video of the incident that went viral was cell phone footage recorded by a citizen and shared on Facebook. In response, DPD released some footage of their own and shared it with the media. The peculiar editing of DPD’s footage aside, there is something else about the video that should engender concern. The part of the video released by the DPD was body camera footage.

ExploreDayton police reform: Committee wants city to buy body cameras

Body Cameras were worn by officers involved in the controversial arrests of George Floyd case in Minneapolis and Rashard Brooks in Atlanta, proving that body cameras do not necessarily prevent unwanted officer behavior.

Officers were wearing body cameras as they tased and punched Lail three times causing severe injury. The question begs itself, why are there discussions by the City’s reform committees about body cameras when the DPD has clearly already implemented them?

An easy response by the City will be that the vote the committee held was to expand the body camera program. However, it is not being held out as such. Furthermore, as the former Community-Police Relations Coordinator for the City of Dayton, we had the body camera discussion many times and it was never disclosed to me or any members of the Community Police Council that the DPD was instituting anything like a trial run with the technology. I fear that the committees are being used to score cheap political points.

If our Mayor can say that it is because of these committees the DPD now has body cameras, surely that is a feather in her preverbal hat. However, how genuine could the calm be, considering that body cameras have already been instituted, at least to some degree.

City Hall has a problem with transparency and I am concerned that our commission is using an issue that impacts so many lives of Dayton’s residents to score political points. This is not an argument against body cameras, I believe they are a necessary tool in today’s world. This is a plea for transparency and sincerity.

NOT FALLING FOR THE GIFT CARDS Beth A. Kolotkin, Dayton

Donald Trump has indicated shortly before the election he will send Medicare recipients $200 gift cards to use “towards their prescription expenses”. These will no doubt be paid for by taxpayers funds, which as we have seen does not include him.

For four years he has not taken any meaningful action in the area of providing affordable medical care or medications to “we the people.”

“Old” people will not bite at the “generous” gift card option. It is foolhardy to believe they will vote for him as a result of this transparent attempt to buy votes.

We may be old, but we are not stupid.. “The Donald” has once again misjudged the competency of anyone other than himself. A flaw as fatal as the virus, which he also has chosen to ignore.

Letters to the Editor are submitted reflections from readers of roughly 150 words or less. Letters to the editor should be sent to edletter@Coxinc.com. Please include a daytime phone number, your full name and the city in which you reside.

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In honor of his mother Dayton photographer Bill Franz  is posting a voting related image to his Facebook page, "Dayton at Work and Play," through Nov. 3.  Betty Franz died Aug. 28 of Covid-19. She had planned to vote in this year's election.
In honor of his mother Dayton photographer Bill Franz is posting a voting related image to his Facebook page, "Dayton at Work and Play," through Nov. 3. Betty Franz died Aug. 28 of Covid-19. She had planned to vote in this year's election.

Credit: Bill Franz

Credit: Bill Franz

FACEBOOK COMMENTS ABOUT EARLY LINES FOR THE FIRST DAY EARLY VOTE

From Dayton Daily News’ Facebook page:

“Incredible. And look at all the masks! Such tremendous consideration for one’s neighbors. My fellow Daytonians, make your voices heard.” ― Dan C. Wlodarski

"Wonderful! Everyone knows large turnout favors democrats! Everyone should vote and this early turnout is a great sign we will save America from the people who lied to us about the virus. ― Ryan Roth

ExploreElection 2020: We answer your questions about early voting in person, by mail

“All of you Biden supporters thinking voting early helps Democrats, look at 2016. Not to mention, I was there this morning and voted Trump, along with a lot of people I know who went. Don’t be too confident.” ― Brad Watkins

“I’ll avoid the lines and vote in person on election day as I always have. Why have a campaign if everyone votes early?” ― David Kennett

From Journal-News’ Facebook page

“I just voted. Took about 30-45 minutes start to finish. Line was moving well.” ― Tom Ragle

“Why go the first day? You have a month.” ― Penny Wilcoxon

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