Rushing Medicaid is dangerous
I disagree with state Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton (“Rhoades: Medicaid needs overhaul soon,” Feb. 8 Local & State). Rushing to “pull the trigger” on massive changes in the state’s health coverage for the poor, disabled and elderly is dangerous.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration plans to issue the contracts in June or July, with everything being put in effect Jan. 1, 2013. That would be a six-month time frame. President Obama’s health care overhaul will take four years to introduce. I would encourage more time to ensure that we are not compromising the health and well-being of Kansas’ most vulnerable citizens.
I agree with state Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, and his concern that the contracts will potentially go to out-of-state companies, which brings me to question Brownback’s job-creation agenda. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the state’s largest health insurer, did not even submit a bid.
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Unquestionably, state Medicaid expenses need to be addressed, but I encourage our lawmakers to keep other options for reform on the table. Without further research and time for planning, this proposed overhaul is an ill-conceived idea that may hurt more people than it will help.
Special tax deal
It is contagious. The city fathers have started an epidemic with their “tax deals.” Now the disease has spread, and the owner of Epic Sports wants a special deal in order to buy and remodel the old Coca-Cola building (Feb. 11 Business Today).
My response to owner Gary Proctor is: If you want the building, buy it and remodel it. That is the way free enterprise works. Don’t ask for a special tax deal.
DON L. JOHNSON
Vote “yes” Feb. 28 on the referendum concerning the Ambassador Hotel project in downtown Wichita. The public participation in this project does not require any tax on Wichita residents. The only tax involved is a transient occupancy tax of 6 percent paid by visitors who stay at the hotel.
This project was thoroughly vetted for financial viability by an independent group before the Wichita City Council approved the project. Reasons for voting for this are numerous. Explore voteyesforwichita.com and find more detail and factual information about this project.
A necessary part of any growing city is to have a vibrant core. We need to continue to spur downtown development rather than let historic buildings sit idle, decay and not contribute to the tax base. However, the situation now is that developers need some form of public-private partnership to encourage and support projects in the core area.
We have a good start with the Intrust Bank Arena, the new Drury Broadview hotel and other projects. A “yes” vote will keep this momentum going until downtown Wichita development snowballs on its own.
Don’t close Black
The Wichita school board shouldn’t consider board member Lanora Nolan’s suggestion to close Black Traditional Magnet Elementary School (Feb. 7 Eagle). Why in the world would Nolan even consider Black a candidate for closure? Would it not make far greater sense to close an underperforming school and send those kids to better-performing schools, rather than the opposite?
The people who are protesting against the Wichita school board are protesting the wrong group. They need to be protesting the Legislature, which cut funding for the schools so severely that we cannot meet the required funding to staff and support the schools we built.
Where are the honorable members of our Legislature who obey the law and keep their word and the word of the Legislature?
Lawmakers have used funding for employee retirement to help balance the budget, after giving tax breaks to business. Is this an honorable action? Now they try to cut the benefits and increase costs to the employees who have kept their word and paid their agreed-upon share. Is this an honorable action?
The constitution of the state requires that the state adequately fund our education system. Legislators had an audit done at our expense that said the system was $800 million underfunded. They promised to make it right and haven’t. Is this the action of honorable people?
The law requires the state to fund education and does not allow the transfer of that obligation to the local government.
Why can’t our city and state leaders be trusted anymore?
Boeing makes promises and breaks them, and Wichita and the state get upset. Then the school board does it, and it’s OK in their eyes (Feb. 11 Eagle).
Can we not trust our city boards and council members or elected officials to keep their word and spend our tax money wisely? More taxes, fewer services and more money wasted on useless studies and hotels.
Come on, people – enough of this bureaucracy. It’s time to take back this state and country. Start the recalls on all levels. Begin with Gov. Sam Brownback.