Letters to the editor on Medicaid expansion, Phelps, loud commercials, Ag Day, distracted drivers

03/25/2014 12:00 AM

03/24/2014 6:33 PM

Tell officials to expand Medicaid

If you could provide health insurance coverage to 78,000 Kansans and provide about 4,000 new health service jobs in the state for no charge the first three years and 10 percent of the cost for the future, would you do it? We would and so would 72 percent of Kansans, according to a poll by the American Cancer Society. The Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback could, but their excuse is that they can’t depend on the federal money being there for this program.

This excuse doesn’t apply to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being built in Manhattan and the federal highway dollars they receive. This would lead one to believe that they are more concerned about agro-terrorism and highway construction than the health coverage of poorer Kansans.

Millions of Kansas tax dollars are going to states that have expanded Medicaid. We have already lost more than $83 million that would have come to the Kansas budget with expansion, and that figure goes up each day. How much do we need to lose before our Legislature and the governor take action?

Go to kslegislature.org and look up your lawmakers’ numbers and tell them to take action. Call and tell the Governor’s Office to take action. Remind them that this is an election year and you vote.



Hateful crusade

The Rev. Fred Phelps began his hate-mongering crusade by demonstrating at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Wichita – at the funeral of a young man who had died of AIDS. The pastor of the church then (the Rev. Chuck Chipman) was the only pastor in Wichita who, at that time, would officiate at the funeral of a person who died of AIDS.

I lived across the street – at the Peace House – and was repulsed by the message of Phelps’ “God hates” signs. The next time his group appeared, I was prepared. I took my sign and stood across the street from the Phelps cabal, facing them for the rest of the morning. My sign said: “My God is the God of love – sorry about yours.”

On the whole, I believe we Kansans behaved admirably considering the depth of the hate these miserable, wretched signs portrayed – and Phelps’ deliberate betrayal of the Christian message. May he rest in peace.



Law ignored

Politicians love to introduce bills, and if the bills become law, the politicians are on cloud nine. But usually there is no follow-up to see if the law is effective in its implementation.

A case in point is the federal law that President Obama signed in December 2010 called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. It stated that commercials could not be broadcast at a louder volume than the program material they follow.

The new rules went into effect in December 2012, but it is obvious that television stations and Cox cable have ignored this federal law.

I mainly view news-related, historical and documentary-type programs. The commercials are definitely louder than the programs. I have sent formal complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, called local TV stations and offices of members of Congress, and called advertisers – with no results. I also discussed this with my Wichita City Council member, as the city has a franchise agreement with Cox.

As this law is being ignored, I suggest Congress repeal this unenforceable law, and we viewers just continue to use the mute button or change channels.



Bridge the gap

Kansas Agri-Women was formed in 1973 and is an affiliate of American Agri-Women. AAW is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women. We are a reasoned, nonpartisan voice for the agricultural community to the public.

Why is this important? Today, people are as many as five generations removed from the family farm. This disconnect from agriculture has led to many misconceptions about how food is produced.

Those of us in food production need to bridge the gap to consumers, elected officials and policymakers. I’m proud to be part of a fourth-generation farm family, growing wheat south of Cheney. We work hard to contribute to a safe and reliable food supply.

Learn more at ksagriwomen.org. And share an interesting fact in celebration of Ag Day on Tuesday, such as: Did you know that one Kansas farmer feeds 155 people plus you?



Distracted drivers

There are laws against distracted or inattentive driving, drunken driving and driving while texting. But even police officers use their cellphones on a regular basis while driving. And the race among car manufacturers to see which can offer the most extravagant wide-screen TV in the middle of the dashboard continues unabated.

How dumb is that? Do we really need all this instant communication (most of which is drivel) while driving 70 mph in the middle of six lanes of traffic?

Oh, well – it’s good business for the body shops, ambulances, hospitals and funeral homes, right? Even though it helps to get rid of stupid people, a lot of innocent people get taken out in the process. And for what?



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