Letters to the editor on Medicaid expansion, Southeast High, water solutions, Obamacare, bicyclists, needs vs. wants, confusing books

05/19/2013 12:00 AM

05/17/2013 5:20 PM

Kansas needs to expand Medicaid

The gigantic 518-person jump to 2,251 homeless children attending Wichita public schools (May 7 Eagle) leads me to aggressively push the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas.

An expansion of Medicaid would provide much-needed health care insurance to about 150,000 additional low-income Kansans, with 75,000 more receiving access to dental care. In addition, a study by the Kansas Hospital Association found an expansion of Medicaid would create 4,000 jobs and add more than $3 billion to our Kansas economy over the next seven years. What’s more, KHA projected a net savings of $82 million from 2014 to 2020, as our federal government picks up 100 percent of the expanded Medicaid costs during the first three years and a vast majority of the costs after that.

Even some GOP governors who were the most outspoken against Obamacare have endorsed an expansion for the citizens of their states.

Most Kansans likely would seek needed timely health care if covered under Medicaid. Currently, many of them put it off, which undoubtedly negatively affects their long-term health while placing a far greater burden on the costs of charitable health care.

This longtime born-again 74-year-old Christian, with serious health issues, thought long and hard before researching and writing this letter.

RUSSELL L. MAIK

Wichita

Upgrade Southeast

The Wichita school board has provided a pamphlet titled “Southeast Bond Pause and Study – Data Consideration.” If you take Option A, which is only the upgrade to Southeast High School, and you add all the Southeast Scenario 2 options – land acquisition, demolition, drainage, dirt – the total cost for an upgraded Southeast with athletic facilities comparable to North and West high schools is $23 million.

Option B is for the new southeast quadrant high school to be built at 127th Street East and Pawnee with two baseball fields, two softball fields, three soccer fields, eight tennis courts, a 5,000-seat football stadium and three practice football fields for $54 million. As there are no sidewalks in the area, all children would be eligible to ride the school bus, and the school board has estimated it would take 51 buses to support this decision.

This is a rather unique idea in taking the children out of the city and busing them to the country. The Southeast High School neighborhood has gone through the impact of forced busing, and the negative impact is now being turned around. To close the school is adding an insult to an injury.

School board members: Please choose Option A, Southeast Scenario 2.

DAVID ROBBINS

President

Fabrique Neighborhood Association

Wichita

Water solutions

The city of Wichita is considering punitive rates for water use as the answer to Wichita’s looming water crisis. Where are the plan and timetable for putting in place long-term solutions?

Many major cities have successfully used effluent water for their parks and golf courses. This is a step the city should have instituted years ago.

The city should be actively seeking to secure additional water sources such as from El Dorado Lake. If the city is to continue to grow, it can’t depend upon conservation only to answer this need.

Until the crisis is over, Wichita should halt recharging the Equus Beds aquifer with drinking-quality water, which the farmers then pump out on their fields. This program needs to be carefully reviewed, as it is insane to pay to purify water to drinking quality and then squander it.

A moratorium should be placed on all new residential and commercial building permits until the crisis is over. I realize this will be the most controversial of my suggestions, but if the crisis is so bad that confiscatory (50 to 100 percent increases) water-usage rates are necessary, it is very hard to justify additional demand.

ARTHUR GLASS

Wichita

Obamacare details

Regarding “Support Obamacare” (May 15 Letters to the Editor): If all Obamacare did was offer the benefits that writer pointed out, one would be trampled in the rush to agree to it. But the devil is in the details.

This law contains page after page of requirements, directives and penalties. Line item after line item not only sets out ridiculous requirements but presents them in ways that are subjective in their enforcement and implementation requirements.

In a nutshell, the thing is written in government code. Different parts of the law contradict other parts. It is a nightmare in its present form.

I present this opinion in hopes that people who think like the letter writer will take the time to further educate themselves as to the whole bill and not just the parts that glow in the dark.

The only way this legislation should make its way into mainstream law is one item at a time. It should be broken down, and all of the items it contains should be exposed to the light of day.

If an item is good, then it will stand on its own merits. If not, it will die for lack of support.

DENNIS ROBERTS

Wichita

Ride of Silence

On Wednesday evening, 30 bicyclists participated in Wichita’s annual Ride of Silence. This ride honors cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often is not aware of these rights, and sometimes is unaware of the cyclists themselves. And so we rode with red and black armbands on the bike lanes on First and Second streets for 10 miles, silently.

This ride is a powerful experience, as it allows us time to reflect on how fragile life is and how lucky we are to be able to continue to ride. We thank those drivers who share the road with bicyclists, and urge them to drive safely.

JACK MURPHY

Wichita

Needs vs. wants

Having been the fourth of nine children and the first of five sons who grew up in a farm family in the 1920s and 1930s, I learned at an early age to accept my share of responsibility for the care and support of the family.

During those years, the majority of people in this area believed that if they lived according to God’s will, their needs would be provided.

Note that the Bible says “needs,” not “wants.” Many people now do not know the difference between their wants and their needs. This, in most cases, is because they have had even more than their needs but fall far short of having all their wants.

If all people would feel satisfied with being able, with the Lord’s help, to meet their actual needs, they would not have much in the way of unnecessary wants.

I feel qualified to say these things because of all I have lived through. During the early years of our marriage we lived in a three-room house, and at times I had to work on our car late into the night so I would have it to drive to work the next day. I was very content and satisfied that our needs were met.

HOWARD L. HAMILTON

Wichita

Switch books

In school, students learn the great, powerful words of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, as well as the secret meanings behind their words. To me, though, I just learn that I’m really glad I don’t talk in Old English or like a grumpy old man.

I think these books are important, but students spend most of the time decoding the language. I think schools should focus on books that interest the majority of students while teaching them something at the same time.

BRITTANY LATHAM

Peck

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