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Letters to the editor on medical school, NRA victory, federal spending, developmentally disabled, oil and gas subsidies, McConnell

  • Published Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Medical school needs support

Three years ago, Wichita made a great step forward in providing doctors for Kansas communities. The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita added the first two years of medical school to the existing third and fourth years we’ve had since the early 1970s.

This change did two important things. First, it meant that students can do their entire medical school education in Wichita. Second and most important, it expands the number of future physicians for Kansas. The state faces a physician shortage that will become more severe in the years ahead.

Many people and organizations stepped up to fund the medical school expansion, believing that state funding would follow. Now with potential cuts to higher education, that private investment is in jeopardy.

The KU School of Medicine-Wichita is a story of many different groups working together for Kansas. Local doctors serve as volunteer faculty, providing clinical training. Professors at Wichita State University, Newman University and the new pharmacy school provide the instruction for the basic science years. Students use video technology to participate in lectures at the KU medical school campus in Kansas City, Kan. It’s a very cost-efficient way to grow more doctors.

Please urge our legislators to support higher education and especially the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, which is helping to solve our physician shortage.

DENNIS ROSS

Clinical professor

KU School of Medicine-Wichita

Wichita

NRA the winner

It looks like the clear winner is the National Rifle Association (“Gun-control measures fail in the Senate,” April 18 Eagle). What an astounding victory. A lobbyist group trumps the American people.

We are talking about a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Of course, that is not as important as the fact that there is an amendment at stake. What would happen if there were an ounce of safety introduced by the pro-gun lobby?

I am totally in support of protecting my children from an invasion by al-Qaida or the Chinese. I just hope my children can survive my neighbor’s decision to give a legal weapon to his brother-in-law, who may or may not be able to know the difference between an enemy and a quixotic shadow attacking his house.

I don’t believe that we need to dismantle the Second Amendment. I don’t have a gun and may be happy that my neighbor does when push comes to shove. I just think that if there is going to be one gun-control group in the United States, it could come up with a couple of ideas that may be able to help curb the random violence that is taking life from a free people, especially the small ones we are wanting to protect in the first place.

MARK LEIKER

Kechi

Required reading

The Kansas City Star article “Plenty of federal tax dollars in Sumner County” and the companion articles about Sedgwick County and Social Security should be required reading by every U.S. citizen (April 14 Eagle). The articles outlined clearly how ambivalent and fickle we are about taxes and what the “state” should provide.

It would be interesting to submit the accompanying graph to voters as a questionnaire, to see which federal programs and funding they would be willing to do away with. It also would be a real contribution to the debate if the research could be enlarged to include the business world and the largesse it receives.

Those who cry that they want “government out of our lives” fail to understand that we no longer live in a land where we can go out and shoot what we want for supper and plow up virgin land and grow our own food. We have collected in cities and live in communities where our lives, out of necessity, must be organized and regulated to achieve a lifestyle in which we can survive and hopefully thrive.

I hope The Eagle reprints the articles at least once a week for the next year. It would be worth the cost and effort.

CLARK BRITTON

Bel Aire

Defend disabled

I’m the mother of an 18-year-old man with severe autism. I’m pro-life. I’m also very pro-life for the dignity and quality of life of people with disabilities.

I was appalled and outraged after reading David Rundle’s commentary “Don’t break promise to disabled Kansans” (March 31 Opinion). Rundle has a physical disability, and he wrote that his vital health services were being cut and that he and his brother had a hard time contacting the managed-care organization and getting things straightened out.

The intellectually and developmentally disabled population is characterized by difficulties in communication. What will happen to those with these disabilities who cannot speak for themselves? What vital services will the managed-care organizations slash to save the almighty dollar?

We are talking about people, not roads or buildings. Have we become so jaded as a society that we will not speak up for people with disabilities in our community?

We have a good system in place now that offers choices to people with disabilities or to the parent or guardian who knows them best.

My son can be very self-abusive and aggressive toward others. We are in contact with our case manager almost daily. I’ve been told by many legislators that supports and services for my son will stay in place. How can I begin to trust when so many promises have been broken?

I implore all concerned citizens to act now. Contact your legislators and ask them if we can count on their vote to permanently carve out long-term care from KanCare.

ALDONA CARNEY

Wichita

Support subsidies

President Obama’s 2014 budget proposes repealing oil and gas subsidies, including the $2 billion per year intangible drilling costs (IDC) and percentage depletion (PD) subsidies. If they are repealed, the Kansas energy sector would take a second economic hit on top of the one caused by uncertainty regarding the production tax credit, a similar subsidy for the wind industry.

Independent oil and gas producers drill most of the Kansas wells and are the primary recipients of the 100-year-old IDC and PD subsidies. However, Obama has the misconception that “big oil” receives these subsidies.

The industry estimates that repeal of the IDC and PD subsidies would reduce drilling by 30 percent – something we simply cannot afford. Our representatives in Washington, D.C., should stand firm on protecting oil and gas subsidies and not split, as they have done on wind subsidies.

Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, have acted to end wind and other energy subsidies, raising questions regarding their support for the IDC and PD subsidies for oil and gas. They should support these subsidies, which are important to Kansas, and vote against their repeal.

MARK RICHARDSON

Hutchinson

Value McConnell

McConnell Air Force Base has been an integral part of this area for as long as I can remember (in my 75 years of life).

As a former member of the Women’s Army Corps, I believe that the presence of such an important Air Force base reminds us of the strength and dedication of our American men and women, and their commitment to the safety and security of our country.

So many military men and women, and their families, are gathered at McConnell from all corners of the United States. As Kansans, we welcome them as friends, comrades and, most of all, our protectors. We thrill to the sound of the huge planes, and we know they are being flown by the most capable members of the Air Force.

May they continue to remain here as part of our everyday lives.

ROBERTA SEIWERT LAMPE

Garden Plain

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