Hermanson pick reflected badly
The Brownback administration’s appointment of Phil Hermanson as KanCare inspector general revealed a profound disregard for the health of thousands of lower-income Kansans (“Why pick Hermanson?” June 6 Eagle Editorial). Kansans can be thankful Hermanson resigned the post last week.
KanCare transferred decisions for health care for Kansans on Medicaid to for-profit insurance companies. Under this privatization scheme, the KanCare inspector general is to be a central point of accountability for life-critical spending decisions. The inspector general is to audit millions of dollars spent by insurance companies and assure the program performs as promised for the frail elderly, individuals with disabilities and children in poverty.
The Brownback administration appointed an inspector general without a college degree or any relevant experience in health care, accounting or public finance. The only apparent qualification of former legislator Hermanson was that he was a loyal Brownback partisan. Hermanson, in addition to lacking professional credentials, has had ethical transgressions including a DUI conviction, violations of campaign finance laws and a bankruptcy.
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With a reported ongoing FBI investigation of favoritism in KanCare contract awards, Brownback should have avoided any hint of cronyism in this important appointment. Instead, he added to the evidence that he is more concerned with rewarding the pockets and influence of his supporters than protecting the interests of the “least of these.”
I disagree with the premise and conclusion of “Speak truth about 2nd Amendment” (June 3 Letters to the Editor).
The letter writer seems to believe that politicians can “do something” about firearm-related deaths in this country. He cited the Gun Violence Archive’s figure that there had been more than 4,300 deaths due to firearms in 2014. That statistic doesn’t have anything to do with the Second Amendment. According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of gun deaths in this country are due to suicide. That doesn’t make the deaths less tragic, but it does make worrying about the Second Amendment even more irrelevant.
The writer stated that the Second Amendment “has resurfaced as an ‘individual’ right.” The Second Amendment has always been an affirmation of the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its many decisions over the years, has never linked the right to keep and bear arms to membership in a militia. It’s only in the past 30 years or so that the liberal left has made such a political issue of the individual right to gun ownership.
The writer also tried to advance his point by mischaracterizing the National Rifle Association – both its purpose and its influence with politicians.
If anyone truly wants the truth to be “articulately and calmly” spoken, here it is: Nothing in our Constitution or its amendments needs to undergo a 21st-century interpretation. It is perfectly sound as created by the founders. If you have a problem, draft another amendment.
Comments by Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau about the Healthy Babies program, an educational program for women who are pregnant or who recently delivered babies, show just how out of touch he and his decisions are when it comes to the day-to-day life-and-death realities facing our communities (“Sedgwick County involvement with Healthy Babies program is debated,” June 4 Local & State).
The 67214 ZIP code has some of the highest black infant mortality rates in the nation. This ZIP code is in the heart of Ranzau’s district, yet he initially suggested forgoing funding that is desperately needed to help reduce these deaths. That showed a streak of unbelievable cruelty.
Ranzau has shown a fierce adherence to ideology, even to the detriment of constituents. Despite changing his mind at the 11th hour and voting to accept a federal grant for the program, he’s shown his true colors. I’m a candidate for District 4 of the County Commission, and I think it’s time for voters to show Ranzau the door.