Letters to the editor on core responsibilities, expanding Medicaid, tanker hearing, liberal bias, ACA, amnesty

11/17/2013 12:00 AM

11/15/2013 6:51 PM

State not funding responsibilities

Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan touted the Brownback administration’s “pro-growth tax relief” (“Tax policy helps create jobs,” Nov. 14 Opinion). He wrote: “It is time we put in place policies that grow the Kansas economy by allowing Kansans to keep more of their hard-earned money and small businesses to have the capital they need to grow their business and create jobs while funding the core responsibilities of government.”

This is the major problem with this administration’s efforts. It is not funding core responsibilities of government, such as education and assistance for the poor.

We should expect funding for these items, not because we have a nanny state but because private citizens, companies and non-governmental organizations do not have the capacity nor the will to address the scale of the need. Therefore, we the people said, “We will do this by pooling our resources.”

I urge the administration and Legislature to meet their constitutional mandate to fund the core responsibilities of government. I fear, however, they would rather destroy our model of limited government than change their ideology. If so, we should show them the door as soon as possible.



Expand Medicaid

Gov. Sam Brownback put off the decision regarding Medicaid expansion, which would provide quality health care to more than 150,000 people in our state. This shouldn’t even be debated.

An independent study by the Kansas Hospital Association determined that Medicaid expansion would increase state revenue, create jobs and lower health care costs. Without the Medicaid expansion, many struggling rural hospitals may be unable to continue providing services.

The federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs from 2014 through 2016, then it will gradually reduce to 90 percent beginning in 2020. Kansas will never pay more than 10 percent of costs for this expansion.

There are 31 states expanding Medicaid. These states are doing the right thing for their most-vulnerable citizens. Our governor doesn’t appear to care.

Contact your Kansas legislators and inform them of your support for Medicaid expansion. Politics should not determine quality health care.




Council Grove

Hearing successful

Many people in the community worked together to ensure that the Air Force’s public hearing last week on the KC-46A tanker program went smoothly. We owe a great debt of gratitude to local citizens, area business leaders and our elected officials who dedicated their evening to show support for McConnell Air Force Base. Some of our elected officials who couldn’t attend the hearing took the time to videotape supportive messages.

The Wichita Metro Chamber and the Wichita Independent Business Association made sure that all of their members were well-informed about the importance of the event. The combined efforts of our partners working together resulted in an outstanding hearing. Our thanks to all involved for clearly demonstrating to the U.S. Air Force our community’s commitment to the future growth of McConnell.



Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Tanker Task Force


Missing leadership

Where was our elected “leadership” to support the tanker refueling program at the Air Force public hearing last week? I was incensed by the lack of attendance by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and, more importantly, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita.

The tanker program is a real job creator. It will provide good-paying jobs with benefits, keep skilled labor in the local market, build a stronger tax base and better educational system, give area contractors new opportunities and, most important, keep McConnell here.

The 4th District supports the tanker program, but our “leadership” wasn’t around to help the people who elected them. What could be more important than the very future of the state of Kansas and the people of the 4th District?



Carrying water

It’s almost time for all the liberals in the media to get their new back braces. They’ve been carrying President Obama’s water for the past five years. And they shouldn’t forget the new blinders. For the last couple of weeks, I have noticed very few stories about what’s going on in our country politically.

But I do want to thank The Eagle for that great article about Obama’s recent golfing weekend (Nov. 10 Eagle). That was truly the hardest-hitting, in-depth story I have read in years. I guess we will have to wait for a conservative to get elected for all the scandals to start up again.



ACA worked

I’m one of the early purchasers of health insurance under Obamacare. I thought the HealthCare.gov website was kind of slow, but it worked. I bought a policy that is one-half of my current private premium. The best part is that my Affordable Care Act policy cannot be canceled, I cannot be denied coverage, and my coverage is not capped. What’s not to like?

I simply don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I got a cheap policy and great coverage and the website worked. Now, for the first time we all know that, come what may, we can always buy affordable health insurance for ourselves and our families.

My thanks to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, our former governor. She’s done a great job under the most difficult circumstances.

My special thanks to Augusta’s very own grandson, President Obama.



No amnesty

I’m a Democrat and am progressive on most issues. However, I disagree with President Obama and the Senate’s immigration reform bill.

Obama said a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and increasing visas for high-skilled workers would be good for the economy. If by the economy he means an increase of returns on investments for Wall Street players, he’s right. But if by the economy he means more jobs for American citizens and lowering the national debt by bringing in more taxes and reducing expenditures for social programs, he’s wrong.

Amnesty and increasing the number of work visas will only lead to more unemployment for Americans. Also, low-income households receive more in social services per year than they contribute in taxes. Granting citizenship to illegal immigrants would also make them eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits, which would only increase the overall cost.

Amnesty, more visas and increased border security didn't work in 1986, and it won’t work now. Instead, let’s enforce existing laws and create new laws that will make enforcement easier.



Sad day

It was pitch dark as I was driving a jeep through the mountains of Germany when a lieutenant and I stopped and looked at a map in a small town. A German national stuck his head out a window and shouted in broken English: “Da presidente, he be shot in the head here,” as he pointed to his head. “He died.”

We didn’t know who he was talking about until we got back to camp.

It was Nov. 22, 1963. We entered a squad tent where soldiers were gathered. Some were German soldiers with whom we were training. They were all crying.

I sat down and put my head in my hands and cried with them. I don’t think any of us went to bed that night.

The next morning we were gathered in formation when our commanding officer told us that our commander-in-chief, President John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated. We were on alert status for quite some time.

That was one of the saddest days of my young life. I’ll never forget that day.



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