As we go about wishing one another a Happy New Year, I invite readers to consider the dire circumstances of the Yemeni people. It would be a happy new year for them if we could end the daily bombing they have received for 15 years from the Saudi government.

That bombing depends on sales of U.S. weapons and maintenance and spare parts for Saudi war planes, and that is just what we peacemakers in the Friends Committee on National Legislation are working on this year.

At our first National Call of 2022 we learned how the U.S. government is complicit in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the largest famine in history, how the people of Yemen are starving and a child dies every 75 seconds. What kind of people would sit by and let this happen?

I urge readers of this forum to call Sens. Burr and Tillis, and Reps. Murphy and Butterfield and tell them you want them to oppose new weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as all ongoing U.S. participation in this brutal war and blockade on Yemen.

Ann Harrington


No more surprise medical bills

For millions of Americans who potentially face exorbitant medical bills, one of the best holiday gifts this season came on Jan. 1, when the No Surprises Act became law.

No one wants to be hit with an unexpected bill that can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, but unfortunately surprise medical bills affect 1 in 5 people who go to an emergency room or get surgery. Luckily, this new statute, which will protect patients from surprisingly large bills from out-of-network providers, is such a no-brainer that it even got rare bipartisan support in Congress when it passed last December and then-President Donald Trump signed it.

Now that this act has gone into effect, it’s crucial that all Americans know their rights under the act to protect themselves against future potential surprise bills. The government has an informative website,, consumers can check out, and lots of public interest organizations such as my group, NCPIRG, have tip guides and other resources as well (

No one needs financial insult added to physical injury with a surprise medical bill. Learn your rights so that doesn’t happen to you.

Katie Craig


Craig is state director at North Carolina Public Interest Research Group.

Contact Bobby Burns at and 329.9572.