I was not surprised by the Cape Cod Times newspaper article “Elderly Cape Cod veterans forced to travel long distances for qualifying exams for benefits.” (4/29) Unfortunately, this is an issue for many people who live in Massachusetts, and not just military veterans.
Last month, I had to travel from Hyannis to Taunton, which is an hour car ride each way, just to have a dental surgeon give me a second X-ray of my teeth to confirm my dentist’s initial X-rays confirming me to have seven of my teeth pulled out in order to get dentures for my bottom teeth. The office visit took about 10 minutes.
I needed to travel this far because I wanted to be put under anesthetics to avoid feeling pain during this hour-long procedure, and apparently, no local oral surgeon closer to Hyannis would accept Medicaid for insurance so I would not have to be fully awake while having my teeth pulled out.
A few months ago, my sister, who has skin cancer, had to travel 54 miles from Pittsfield to Chicopee. My sister was told there are no local dermatologists who would accept her insurance. That was why she was forced to make the long drive to see a doctor for 20 minutes in order to make sure she had no cancerous moles on her body.
I do have sympathy for elderly veterans who have to travel many miles from their homes for unnecessary doctor appointments. But, I also think that all the people who live in Massachusetts, who are just ordinary civilians, should not have to travel over a hundred miles in a single day to see a doctor for a non-emergency procedure or doctor visit.
Bram Hurvitz, Hyannis
Senate must vote to end child marriage in Massachusetts
Did you know that children can get married in Massachusetts, some as young as 13? Since 2000, 1,246 children were married here and 83% of those marriages were girls married to adult men, according to state Rep. Kay Khan, D-Newton. The U.S. State Department considers child marriage a human rights violation.
As a clinical social worker on Cape Cod, I’ve learned that girls married before 18 are more likely to experience physical and sexual assault, and they have no access to domestic shelters or legal support because they are minors. Last year, nearby New York and Rhode Island passed laws banning child marriage entirely. But because Massachusetts’ state law has loopholes that allow child marriage, and since our state has no residence requirement for marriage, we could become a destination site for child marriages.
‘Trying to be lean where we can’:Record-high inflation makes Cape Cod living difficult
Recently, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment to the state budget that would end child marriage. An Act to End Child Marriage. Now the Senate needs to approve the bill before it will head to the governor’s desk.
Please contact your senators to make Massachusetts the seventh state to eliminate this dangerous abuse of children.
Sheila Scott Gordon, Falmouth