Schmidt’s actions affront to voters
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s actions against the voters of Wichita are a direct affront to the very nature of our political system (“AG asks court to block city’s new pot law,” April 10 Eagle).
Activists work very hard to convince the oppressed that their votes will count, if only they would show up to cast their ballot. Now this man who doesn’t even live in Wichita has the nerve to attempt to block the will of the majority, because he disagrees with the voters?
Let Schmidt come to Wichita and hold a public meeting with those who signed that petition, and with those who voted in favor of the measure he seeks to block. Let him come here to explain why his opinion should outweigh your votes. If he refuses to do so, can we call him anything but a coward?
Of the 50 states, 49 saw a decrease in the number of people without health insurance last year. The national average dropped from 17.3 to 13.8 percent. Only Kansas saw an increase, from 12.5 to 14.4 percent.
This is largely the result of Gov. Sam Brownback sending back $31 million in federal funding and refusing to set up a state health insurance marketplace, and also not expanding Medicaid. Kentucky and Arkansas, two states that have done both, show the lowest uninsured rates and cheapest premiums. Millions of our tax dollars are going to pay for health insurance premiums in other states while Kansans go without insurance.
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in late June whether to discontinue tax credits in states where the federal government operates the health insurance marketplace. The average health insurance premium increase for 77,000 Kansans will be about 228 percent. The average tax credit of $211 per month would help provide these financially struggling families with affordable health care coverage.
This ruling will affect hospitals, as they will see more and more patients who don’t have health insurance and can’t pay the bill. Rural hospitals will be affected most by this ruling.
GERALD and DIANNA SCHMITT
Regarding “Pilot in Capitol landing sent back home” (April 17 Eagle): While the landing of a private gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn is a violation of national-defense airspace, the article’s authors did a disservice to the nonregulated recreational aspect of aviation with their inept reporting.
Their description of the violation of aircraft registration requirements was wrong. The gyrocopter is an ultralight that complies with Part 103 of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations and requires no registration. The FAA wants nothing to do with aircraft qualifying in Part 103 other than to establish what qualifies for aircraft in that category.
Identifying the gyrocopter as a “contraption” was derogatory and supplied no useful information to the reader. These are well-designed flying machines that have been in use since the early 1940s. Even the military considered them as an escape vehicle for downed pilots of larger aircraft.
Rather than minimize the gyrocopter by identifying it as an “airborne go-cart,” why not describe it as a bona fide one-man aircraft functioning similar to a helicopter? The rotary wing provides lift, and the pusher propeller provides forward motion. These aircraft are manufactured as turnkey machines, kits or are plans-built by their owners.
Either the article’s authors have no knowledge of aviation breadth or were attempting to be cute. Either way, they missed an opportunity to provide useful information about gyrocopters.
PAUL D. FIEBICH
Let Gov. Sam Brownback know that we want the Medicaid expansion in Kansas. There are millions of federal dollars that we could get in Kansas that could help a lot of people who are sick or have mental health issues get the help they need. It would help not only Wichita but also rural cities and towns get health care where there is none.
Not only does this expansion help with health care, it helps bring jobs to Kansas that we so desperately need. It would help our hospitals save money and not have so much of the charity care they lose money on. As a nurse, I know how heartbreaking it is when people cannot get the care they need.
Please help those who do not have a voice, and let our governor and Legislature know that we want the Medicaid expansion.
The recent welfare restrictions are counterintuitive to the general welfare in a consumer-based economy, and we may be shooting ourselves in the foot as we start imposing the new restrictions on welfare recipients (“Brownback signs welfare restrictions into law,” April 17 Eagle).
Those nail salons, tattoo parlors and other local businesses may have to make up for the loss in revenue by raising prices or, worse, laying people off. Desire or the pursuit of happiness will find ways to usurp the restrictive process, and that may put other unforeseen financial strains on taxpayers.
There is a subtle irony that House Bill 2258 is promoted as an incentive for people to get jobs by a legislative body that has failed miserably in promoting the creation of jobs.
JOHN L. OTTO Jr.
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