Letters to the editor on health care limits, legalizing drugs, DMV wait

09/09/2013 12:00 AM

09/06/2013 5:15 PM

Policies needed to limit health care

We Americans pride ourselves on being a practical people, yet there is one indisputable fact that we refuse to face. Modern medicine can provide more useful health care than any modern nation can afford. As a result, all modern nations must have policies that limit the amount of useful care provided.

All other advanced nations recognize that much of modern treatment, while being somewhat useful, is only marginally so. They have policies that curtail marginally useful treatment when it is appropriate to do so. Americans have not, and thus our national health care costs are almost double those of other advanced countries, with no better national outcomes.

Yet we also limit care, but not just marginally beneficial care. Although we have many programs to aid the poor, the fact remains that many poor, uninsured citizens are not able to get the care they need, no matter how beneficial that care might be. That is, we limit care not on the basis of a reasonable cost-benefit analysis, but upon a standard business model – if you can’t pay for it, you do not get it.

In our public health care debate, those who wish to manipulate the public have successfully reframed the necessary cost-benefit procedures as being “death panels.” Unfortunately, too many Americans have accepted this misleading propaganda. However, even though this ideological propaganda has proved effective in the short run, in the long run facts and reason will prevail.

GERALD H. PASKE

Wichita

Legalize drugs

At the invitation of Jobs and Education – Not Incarceration, a committee of the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, former narcotics officer Jack Cole, co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, will appear at several venues in Wichita and Topeka from Sept. 22 through Oct. 2. Details are available in the events listings in The Eagle and on Kansas.com. This is an extraordinary opportunity to educate, debate and organize to rectify a policy that has resulted in the ruination of lives and communities through mass incarceration for nonviolent crimes – predominantly of black, brown and poor constituents.

In her book “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander has poignantly alerted us to these conditions. She enthusiastically endorses LEAP’s program, saying it is one of the “strongest voices against the war on drugs anywhere in the world.”

LEAP’s proposals: Take crime and violence out of drugs by legalizing drugs; regulate drug sale and use; treat addiction as a health problem; eliminate “stop and frisk” policies.

ALICE POWELL

Wichita

Almost next

Regarding the new driver’s license office that will open in Derby (Aug. 22 Eagle): I had reason to be at both a driver’s license office and tag office this summer. In both cases, I noticed there was a long wait and the use of a number ticket.

Being a retired engineer, I automatically watched to see if there was some way to expedite service. I noticed that whenever an agent completed serving somebody, he or she would call out the next number in line and wait for a response.

When there was a response, there was a wait while the person went from the seated location to the service counter. Many times there would be a long wait and no response. In this case, the agent would call out the next number and repeat the wait.

It would expedite service if there were an “almost next” waiting area. If you were among the, say, next five, you would go to this area. This area would be close to the service counters. This would shorten the time to get to the window and the time looking for a response. This could significantly improve the waiting process. Now try to tell the government that.

DEXTER SCHNEBLY

Wichita

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