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Letters to the editor on welfare fraud, health care, Brownback, military sexual assault

  • Published Wednesday, August 7, 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.

Fighting fraud is cost-effective

“Kansas bucks trend, doubles down on welfare fraud”(Aug. 4 WE Blog excerpts) called attention to a Kansas Health Institute News Service report regarding the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ anti-fraud unit expansion. It said that Kansas is going in the opposite direction of a national trend to scale back fraud investigations, and that other states found that increased fraud investigations were not cost-effective.

After the previous administration dismantled its fraud unit, we made it a priority to ensure that public funds are going to those who truly need and qualify for them. Taking a tough stance on fraud has helped save millions of taxpayer dollars. Fighting fraud is not a detriment to Kansas families in need, but to those who seek to defraud the system. A common example of welfare fraud is when an applicant reports only his or her income in the household when other adults who make income also live in the home.

The assertion that our efforts are not cost-effective was dismissed in the KHI article when my agency explained that even before expanding the unit, DCF was collecting more money than it’s now paying for the additional staff.

Families who need food and financial assistance, as well as taxpayers in general, deserve to know that we are doing everything we can to protect the integrity of the system by preventing and stopping welfare fraud. We want to restore people’s trust in state government.

PHYLLIS GILMORE

Secretary

Kansas Department for Children and Families

Topeka

Don’t deny coverage

Why does U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, want to keep Kansans from having the insurance coverage we have needed for so many years? Why does he want to deny coverage to our poorest citizens?

Pompeo evidently is very proud of his badgering – oh, I mean “questioning” of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator. His characterization of the event in an e-mail seemed to me to have no relationship to the actual exchange.

And why, oh, why, do Pompeo and the rest of his party insist on continuing to waste their time and our taxpayer money voting to repeal Obamacare when they know that is not going to happen?

Those of us in mainstream America want the fighting and bickering and obstructionism to stop, and for members of Congress to cooperate, compromise and work across the aisle to move this country forward. Instead, they are worrying only about winning the next election and about trying to discredit our president to see to it that he fails, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said was his party’s main objective.

Pompeo needs to stop with the one-upmanship and trying to stop Obamacare and instead try to make it work, for the good of our country.

SANDY LOVE

Maize

Real problem

I was shocked to read “Detroit a wake-up call for Kansas” (Aug. 15 Opinion). I couldn’t believe The Eagle wasted three columns of space to allow a right-wing nut job to spew his hatred for unions, state employees, living wages and benefits by attempting to compare Detroit to the future Wichita.

Christian B. Corrigan actually is touting the dictatorial regime of Gov. Sam Brownback and rubber-stamp legislators as they continue to decimate the state of Kansas. Brownback and his Republican guard are the real problem in Kansas.

Brownback is cutting the source of nearly half of the state’s tax revenues, and then wonders why there is not enough money for mandatory state-funded programs. Maybe this was his plan all along. Brownback needed a reason to cut education and social programs, so he cuts the head off the biggest revenue generator in the state.

The last thing The Eagle should do is provide a forum for a pied piper like Corrigan to influence the uninformed, misguided, and ideologically bent and twisted voters in Kansas and provide more fodder for their inexcusable support of Brownback and allies such as Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.

ERNIE SVITES

Wichita

Combat assault

Removing pornographic material from military installations is not the only answer to stopping sexual assault within the military (Aug. 2 Local & State).

Victims of assault need to be free to report incidents without the stigma that they have done something wrong, that they are to blame. They need to feel that they will not be victimized again by members of their squadron for reporting an assault by one of their fellow servicemen. The military fight for our freedoms; who is going to stand up and fight for military victims of sexual assault?

Politicians and community leaders need to support and advocate for changes in current policies within the military that would make changes to the prosecution and charging of the perpetrators of sexual assault within the military ranks.

These individuals and their commanders need to know that sexual assault of any kind is not acceptable and that perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions. Commanders need to be made aware that if they fail their troops and do nothing, they will also face the consequences for their inaction.

Every American citizen who has a connection with the military, who is proud of what the military does, should support policies that will change the rate of sexual assault that occurs within the military ranks.

ANNA KIRKPATRICK

Wichita

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