Letters to the editor on yard signs, Brownback agenda, plane salesmen, ACA, creation

09/04/2012 12:00 AM

09/05/2012 11:18 AM

Correction: Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in some states failed to meet new medical loss ratio standards and were required to provide rebates, but that was not the case for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, as stated in the letter, “Get facts on ACA”

All city employees could pick up signs

The Wichita City Council passed amendments to the city’s sign ordinance that will be viewed by most people as justified and overdue (Aug. 22 Local & State). But as has become the norm of late, the council passed laws that require enforcement but without funding to carry out the task. It then just becomes an unfunded mandate that may or may not ever be effectively acted upon.

The volunteer concept was tried in enforcing the various handicapped parking regulations. That was not a great success.

The city could take care of the sign problem utilizing current employees at virtually no cost to the taxpayer. All city employees who drive city vehicles, either full time or during their working day, could be ordered to collect signs from the right of way. The next time each vehicle needs to be refueled, the collected signs could be left in the city yards, and citizens who wanted to reclaim them could do so. This is, in fact, the way that the Office of Central Inspection carries out its task at present – but this way it would have the help of hundreds of other city employees.



No check, balance

If the business climate in Kansas is so bad, how could the Kansas Chamber of Commerce afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past primary election?

School districts that are members of their local chambers of commerce may want to reconsider their membership. Does it make sense to support an organization that spends their funds (your dues) to elect candidates who will refuse to adequately fund public education?

Those conservative candidates sent tons of election mailings (propaganda) before the election listing what they would do and what they supported. They could have saved a lot of printing if they had just said, “I’ll do whatever Gov. Sam Brownback tells me to.”

Look for Brownback to go after education, such as by dismantling the present school funding formula, providing public funds to private schools, or dumbing down the definition of an adequate education.

The scariest of all may be the plan for appellate judges to be appointed solely by the governor. If the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are all under the control of one individual, there is no check-and-balance system in operation. You might say the balance has checked out.



Plane salesmen

An Opinion Line contributor thought that President Obama should be a used-car salesman. I assume the same contributor also thinks Gov. Sam Brownback, Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer should be plane salesmen.

Gee, they already are plane salesmen. The convinced the U.S. Defense Department to buy its new tanker from Boeing instead of Airbus. If I remember right, Boeing said “thank you” by moving its operations out of state.



Get facts on ACA

Do you really know what the Affordable Care Act has accomplished and will continue to do for you? A Kansas public employer recently saw family health plan premiums drop $960 annually; the deductible dropped from $2,500 to $2,000, and office co-pays were reduced from $25 to $20. Typically the cost of such plans has increased by 15 percent or more annually.

The savings are because the ACA’s regulations limit insurance providers to 20 percent for administration and 80 percent for health care. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas exceeded this in 2011 and is required to reduce premiums for its clients.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post reported that Romneycare (Massachusetts’ health care plan and the blueprint for the ACA) has improved the quality of health care for its residents. The greatest gains have been for women, minorities, near-elderly adults and those with low incomes. In Massachusetts, 98 percent of residents have health care, which results in early treatment and prevention of costly medical conditions.

ACA includes cost-cutting measures, electronic health records and accountability for health care providers, which should result in medical care becoming more effective.

Repeal the ACA? Why? Get the facts.





North Newton

God created

Some scientists look to outer space for the origins of life on Earth, not believing the Bible about God’s special creation of man, animals and plant life. Though their stance raises many other questions, the bigger question is: Why is it so difficult to accept that Earth, uniquely and singularly fitted for life to exist, is where God created and placed us?

As humans struggle to accept the miraculous beginning of life from the breath of God, they instead choose to trust a far different miracle – the miracle of life from no “first cause” at all. Perhaps they should follow the advice Job received: “Listen to this, O Job; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). And maybe they should try to answer God’s question in Job 38:4: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”

Only God could create the cosmos out of nothing.



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