Pharmacies need level playing field
As Gov. Sam Brownback hands the state’s Medicaid program over to a managed-care system, there is plenty of reason for concern among Medicaid recipients and independent pharmacists. Having signed contracts with three managed-care organizations this month, KanCare will move its 350,000 Medicaid recipients to managed care in January. It’s a move designed to cut costs that could potentially restrict patients’ access to care as well as send a shock wave through the state’s network of independent pharmacists.
While the administration maintains that health care providers will not form the basis of the new program’s projected savings, other states that recently have moved to managed care illustrate the danger of the new system. Since Texas transitioned to managed care in March, roughly 30 independent pharmacies have closed or been sold to retail chains. When Kentucky transitioned to a managed-care system in November, independent pharmacists experienced an 80 percent reduction in professional fees and draconian cuts to drug reimbursement.
Under the new system, Kansans who rely on local, rural pharmacies for their medications may be in danger of decreased access to care unless the administration ensures a level playing field for the state’s independent and chain pharmacies. That way, Kansas taxpayer dollars can support local business rather than Fortune 500 companies, and independent pharmacies can continue serving their loyal customers.
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency
Cooper Drug Store
VAN G. COBLE
Right to care?
Regarding “What’s next?” (July 11 Letters to the Editor): In other areas of policy and law, we acknowledge differences in conscience but focus more upon the common good. Our strong military is an example.
Americans choose to maintain a strong military. As a matter of conscience, American pacifists object to a military and possible conscription. However, pacifists are not exempt from civic obligation. They must pay taxes that support the military and must serve their country even if they refuse, for reasons of conscience, to serve in the military.
Americans have chosen to provide health care through the Affordable Care Act. As a matter of conscience, some Catholics object to reproductive medicine. However, Catholics are not exempt from civic obligation. They must pay taxes used to provide access to health care, even if they refuse, for reasons of conscience, to access reproductive care services.
But conscience is not the core issue in our current debate. Rather, it is whether access to affordable health care is a right or a privilege. If it is a privilege, we must determine the extent to which we are comfortable allowing human suffering, knowing we could alleviate much of it through our common efforts. If it is a right, we must determine why we are unwilling to ensure access to affordable health care, including reproductive care, to all in our country, even if some object to reproductive care as a matter of conscience.
Beyond the call
The foundation of our country and the true meaning of red, white and blue are men like state Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, and Kevin O’Connor, who is a candidate for Sedgwick County district attorney. Kelsey helped create and pass House Bill 2613 allowing lifetime protection-from-abuse orders and protection-from-stalking orders. Both men went to court with me, which was beyond their call of duty.
It’s time for big change and making “ripples” – especially when it comes to focusing on stopping repeat violent offenders.
These men have strong family values and faith, and will make time for you. Please help protect our children’s future and vote for these men.
I don’t often make personal recommendations in political elections, but it is my great pleasure and honor to offer my full support for Dave Dahl, a candidate for Sedgwick County district judge.
Dahl has been a Wichitan for more than 42 years, and fortunately for me, our friendship and professional association have spanned that entire time. He is an outstanding leader, willing to offer his personal time and professional talents toward the betterment of society. It is difficult to find organizations in the city in which he has not volunteered and left his mark, and he has spent countless hours coaching youth sports teams and providing volunteer legal advice to minority businesses and youth entrepreneurs.
With a respected 35-year career as an attorney and courtroom litigator, coupled with many decades of teaching at the university level, Dahl has the proven experience, professionalism and commitment to fairness required of the position of judge.
Voters would be hard-pressed to find a more qualified candidate for the bench than Dahl. Please join me in supporting Dahl for district judge in the Aug. 7 primary.
FRAN D. JABARA
As of February 2012, more than 4,000 medical, scientific and environmental professionals (including nurses, doctors, dentists, lawyers, pharmacists, veterinarians and water-treatment workers) had signed the Professionals’ Statement Calling for an End to Water Fluoridation released by the Fluoride Action Network on Aug. 9, 2007.
Get informed, Wichita.