Letters to the Editor

May 11, 2014

Letters to the editor on takeover of Medicare, KanCare, development megasite, due process, Sedgwick statue, Benghazi

I recently wrote a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback letting him know how worried and concerned I would be if Kansas took over my Medicare. I’m quite sure many other seniors wrote similar letters. I have received a form letter, as I’m sure others have, in which Brownback says he “was pleased to sign HB 2553 into law on April 22, 2014.”

Don’t take over my Medicare

I recently wrote a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback letting him know how worried and concerned I would be if Kansas took over my Medicare. I’m quite sure many other seniors wrote similar letters. I have received a form letter, as I’m sure others have, in which Brownback says he “was pleased to sign HB 2553 into law on April 22, 2014.”

The governor must be totally clueless. Apparently his main goal is to get rid of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Never once has he mentioned what he would do about the less fortunate Kansans who are already enjoying the affordable health care.

I was completely comfortable with the federal government taking care of my Medicare. We’ve seen what Brownback has already done to Kansas with his tax cut for the very wealthy. It’s hurt seniors, teachers, students, the middle class, the less fortunate and many social services.

We will remember when it’s time to vote – at least those of us who are allowed to vote in Kansas.



Losing providers

One of the major problems with KanCare was not addressed by Shawn Sullivan, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, and Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in their commentary “Integration of I/DD care going smoothly so far” (April 17 Opinion). That is the narrowing in the number of medical providers available to the intellectually and developmentally disabled community.

No provider is required to contract with any of the three insurance companies that administer KanCare. If the provider you want doesn’t contract with your insurance company, you are no longer able to see that provider.

My 60-year-old brother, who has cerebral palsy, lost his psychological counselor because she did not want to contract with any of the insurance companies. My brother, who prone to ingrown nails and unable to care for his feet himself, also lost the clinic that used to trim his toenails. I have heard horror stories, too, about the lack of dentists willing to take I/DD patients who need special sedation, and of others who had trouble finding a primary-care physician.

These types of problems also existed under Medicaid, but KanCare exacerbated rather than relieved them. KanCare does not appear to be a well-thought-out program.



Megasite exists

An Eagle article discussed the $90 million request by the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition for a war chest (“Nearly $3 billion price tag for city projects stuns council,” May 7 Eagle). It reported that “Wichita has lacked a dedicated megasite for those companies that want to move quickly and has been outbid by competing cities and states.”

Bel Aire has Sunflower Commerce Park in phase one consisting of 150 acres, and phase two with more than 600 acres. The site on Webb Road between 45th Street North and 53rd Street North sits 0.8 mile north of the Jabara Airport runway, 1 mile north of the National Center for Aviation Training, 1 mile south of K-254, and 2.3 miles north of K-96. The site has a rail spur off of the Union Pacific Railroad, completion date Aug. 1.

Numerous local and national companies are locating in the “megasite.” The Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Department of Transportation and Sedgwick County know the site. Do Wichita and the GWEDC know the site? Do they want a tax increase everyone pays to duplicate what Bel Aire has, or do they want to work for the “greater good of the greater area” and “taxpayers” and consider this our “greater area GWEDC megasite”?


Bel Aire

Need due process

For the past 46 years I have been involved in public education as a teacher, parent, coach and substitute. Most of my career has been in schools with large faculties of 100 or more certified educators. Based on my own experience, I offer several observations.

The number of teachers who are incompetent to the point of doing harm is no more than 2 to 3 percent. These poorly performing teachers generally fall into discrete categories. First of these are young probationary teachers who with support and assistance eventually will be well-performing educators. Second are late-career burnout cases who have given the profession good service but are now exhausted. They deserve better treatment than summary dismissal. The third group are coaches (some but not most) for whom teaching is the burdensome price they must pay for their pursuit of athletic glory.

If building principals do their jobs conscientiously, they can terminate underperforming teachers. Due-process rights are designed to ensure that underperforming teachers receive the assistance they need or be dismissed if there is no alternative. Due-process rights also protect good teachers from being dismissed by the arbitrary and capricious whims of incompetent or vindictive administrators.

No one’s interests are served by the continued employment of a few bad teachers, but principals must be willing to do what is required of them: due diligence through due process.



Why no statue?

May 9 was the 150th anniversary of the death at the battle of Spotsylvania of Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, after whom our county is named. He was the highest-ranking Union officer killed in the Civil War. He was affectionately known to his troops as “Uncle John.” There is an equestrian statue honoring him at Gettysburg and a statue at West Point. Shouldn’t we have one in our county?



Benghazi matters

Unfortunately for the Obama administration and Democratic heir apparent Hillary Clinton, the Benghazi scandal has sprouted a new pair of legs. The four Americans who were abandoned by their country may soon become more than just another footnote in the sordid legacy of the Obama administration.

Perhaps Clinton will discover what difference it really does make as her complicity in this sinister affair becomes apparent to even the most limited voters.

You reap what you sow, and if the American people want to continue with this progressive liberal belly flop into another presidential election cycle, Clinton will make the ideal candidate.

In fairness to Clinton, she does possess convicted investment adviser Bernie Madoff‘s skill of milking the progressive Ponzi scheme until even the best and brightest have been thoroughly flimflammed.



Benghazi hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of the GOP has been climbing toward a zenith and could be summed up in one word: “Benghazi.”

This tragedy has been investigated on several occasions and will now be looked into again in hopes to discredit the current administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It also will be used as political fodder for the upcoming midterm election.

I would like to remind the Republican leaders of other events that they seem to forget.

During the administration of George W. Bush, there were 13 attacks on American entities that led to the deaths of 60 individuals. Not one investigation was called for by the Democrats. During Ronald Reagan’s terms there were seven attacks resulting in the killing of 94 Americans. Democrats didn’t scream and point fingers at our president. In 1983 there was also a horrific attack on a barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three American civilians. It was the largest one-day death toll of Marines since Iwo Jima in World War II. There were no impeachment threats toward Reagan, no retaliation.

But during the Obama administration, this single attack resulted in the death of four brave Americans, and the entire Republican Party is dancing on the head of a pin, calling our current president everything it can think of, including “traitor.”



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