Letters to the editor Obamacare, child-welfare system, pre-K, Christianity

03/29/2014 12:00 AM

03/28/2014 6:01 PM

ACA facts do not back up attacks

Despite the best efforts of the Brownback administration to deny health care and coverage to less-fortunate Kansans, and despite this administration’s efforts to present arguments against Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion, the facts speak differently.

As reported recently by columnist Rick Ungar in Forbes magazine, it is time for the Republicans to start eating crow. Here are some of the highlights:

In the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time employment grew by more than 2 million and part-time employment declined by 230,000. Additionally, the areas where cuts have occurred are mainly in the public sector (police, teachers, etc.) – where the opponents of Obamacare have argued for cuts.

Private insurance policies are a volatile market. Even before Obamacare, only 17 percent of people kept a policy for longer than two years. The percentage reporting that their policies were recently canceled because their policy did not meet the new standards was nearly the same – 18.6 percent. And most of them are eligible for assistance on insurance. Even where the new cost is higher, this is almost always because of the quality of the insurance being offered.

For all its flaws, the ACA is functioning and helping people. Ungar put it best: “Facts matter – even when they screw up an effective disinformation campaign.”



System is broken

“Custody of grandkids” (Jan. 25 Letters to the Editor) was correct in stating that “the child-welfare system in Sedgwick County is broken” and that social workers and guardians ad litem need more training. Some of what they need is a better understanding and compassion for the children involved.

Guardians ad litem are appointed by the court to advocate for the child, not the adult parties involved. How much time do the guardians spend with the child or children? They often look at the issues presented to the court by the respective attorneys and make a decision. The judges can’t take time to speak to the children, because they have other child-in-need-of-care cases waiting in line.

Often psychologists will be involved to help make decisions that affect a child’s future, but they may fail to see all sides of the issues.

The basic problem seems to be the lack of responsibility on the part of the parents who cause these issues to be in the court system in the first place. Most judges will try to make the people involved in these cases understand that these children need their whole families to grow. Families are broken, too, because they can’t agree on what is best for the child.

Grandparents have very few rights. Great-grandparents have none.

I appreciate the letter writer expressing what a lot of grandparents are dealing with.



Pre-K reduces gaps

The Legislature and governor have difficulties in funding full-day kindergarten. Meanwhile, many other states have prekindergarten public school education. Pupils have opportunities to interact with other young children in developing socially. Prekindergarten education also emphasizes cognitive and subject matter learning such as counting objects and items, doing creative dramatizations, listening to stories and poetry, discussing things of interest, doing experience charts involving beginning/sequential reading, and seeing dictated talk, individually and in small groups, written down by the teacher.

With prekindergarten, pupils receive a positive beginning for reading, arithmetic, science and social studies in a K-12 sequence. Many educators believe that providing better initial beginnings will minimize or eliminate gaps in achievement among diverse majority and minority groups.

Society benefits when talents and abilities are utilized fully. No one should fall through the cracks.



Just a coincidence?

As part of a lesson in communication, a professor at Florida Atlantic University told his students to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, lay it on the floor, and then stomp on it. Christianity does not deserve such irrational hatred.

During the past two centuries, our standard of living has fantastically improved. And even though the inventions and innovations that made this remarkable advancement possible originated where Christianity is the predominant religion, they are available for the benefit of everyone the world over.

The most important accomplishment was harnessing electricity, which made subsequent inventions possible. We now have available such conveniences as refrigeration, air conditioning, lightbulbs and a ready supply of clean water. All modes of transportation have been completely transformed. The telegraph was replaced by the telephone and cellphone and now the smartphone. It did not take long for the nickelodeon to evolve into movies, followed by television and computers with the Internet. During my lifetime, life expectancy has increased by about 25 years with miracle drugs, new surgical skills and procedures.

Is it just an incredible coincidence, or is there some rational explanation why all these advancements originated where Christianity is the predominant religion?



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