Letters to the editor on Planned Parenthood, voter ID, Wolf, property taxes, help for veterans

06/13/2014 12:00 AM

06/12/2014 6:07 PM

More services to low-income are lost

The Brownback ideology has taken down one more service to low-income families of Kansas: Planned Parenthood (May 24 Eagle). It is being forced to close its Hays health center because federal family planning funding through the Title X grant program has been cut by the Legislature.

Lawmakers seem to believe that Planned Parenthood provides abortions with Title X monies, which is not true. Title X, which is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to family planning and reproductive health services for low-income and uninsured patients, has nothing to do with abortion.

What’s more, cutting Title X funding could actually result in an increase in abortions. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, family planning services at Title X-funded clinics helped prevent 973,000 unintended pregnancies in 2008 – pregnancies that would have caused more that 400,000 unintended births and more than 400,000 abortions.

More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are preventive and primary care. The crucial services provided include breast and pelvic exams, pap smears and other cancer screenings, HIV testing, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing, counseling, and affordable birth control.

All citizens of Kansas should ask themselves whether we could afford to lose these clinics.

LOUISE SMITH

Hesston

Show your ID

When I lived in Texas, everyone was required to show a voter ID. Frankly, I was shocked that this was not required when I moved back to Kansas. Anyone could have been signing my name.

The rhetoric of the Rev. Carieta Grizzell of Grant Chapel AME Church was as egregious an example of race-baiting as I have ever seen (“Pastors plan voter drive, slam ID laws,” June 7 Local & State). Showing a photo ID is required to enroll in college, join the military, get a driver’s license, buy a house, get a loan and make many purchases. So how is it “gerrymandering,” “Jim Crow-ism” or discriminating “against the people of God” to require an ID to vote?

This is the language of the left, used constantly in order to bully those who disagree with them. It is shameful that a church pastor would stoop to such a level.

Grizzell is correct that the right to vote is precious. So show your ID and quit trying to turn this into a racial issue.

MARTY PAULSON POPE

Wichita

Wolf is best choice

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Kansas and the national Republican Liberty Caucus proudly endorse Milton Wolf for U.S. Senate. Wolf’s experience in medicine provides him an educated position from which to oppose the Affordable Care Act. His commitment to a limited and constitutional federal government is refreshing and sorely needed in Washington, D.C.

Wolf is a physician, not a politician. Yet he has built a groundswell of support through his grassroots efforts. We believe that Wolf is the best candidate to replace Sen. Pat Roberts and will make an excellent senator for the state of Kansas.

DAVE THOMAS

Chairman

Republican Liberty Caucus of Kansas

Wichita

Values vary

The real problem with Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn’s claim (“Swap sales tax for county property tax,” June 8 Opinion) is that no one seems to have taken into account that property values vary greatly from area to area.

Wichita has lower property values than, say, Salina, where I lived before moving to Wichita. I am not a real estate expert, but property values here seem to be about 10 to 20 percent cheaper than in Salina. In some states, values can be 100 to 200 percent higher. A property valued at $100,000 in some states would be worth $200,000 or more elsewhere, meaning that the same property taxed at the same rate would bring in more money. It also means that a lower rate could still mean more money.

To say that we have high property taxes without considering these factors is misleading and not the whole truth.

EDWARD EVERHART

Bel Aire

Care for veterans?

My father served in World War II and was honorably discharged after service in the South Pacific. After returning home to Kansas, he raised three children on wages earned working in grain elevators. Until he was 65 and qualified for Social Security, Dad never took a penny from the government.

Dad is now 88 years old and lives with his 90-year-old wife in an assisted living facility in Newton. Because he pays more than $3,000 per month for care services and rent, his savings have dwindled to practically nothing.

Last December, we completed forms with a Department of Veterans Affairs representative to see if Dad qualified for any veterans benefits for his service. Over the past six months, I have e-mailed, phoned and written to the VA representative who processed our paperwork to ascertain the status of the application. I have received no response. Meanwhile, Dad has cashed in his last certificate of deposit, and the assisted living facility has raised his rent $300 per month.

How has this happened in a country that purports to love and respect its veterans? Why does an old sailor have to swallow his pride and ask for help, only to be ignored by the country he fought to save?

ROD MILNE

Wichita

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