The wealthiest 1 percent have garnered 80 percent of all economic growth since 1980, and 95 percent of it since the recent recession. They now own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. It was gained in part through tax abatements, whereby cities and states are beguiled into bidding wars for the privilege of paying corporations for jobs.
I am disturbed by the disinformation being circulated with regard to the Obamacare website. Let me explain.
I am a “Redskin” and proud of it. I choose to call myself a Redskin, because many years ago I attended Wichita North High School. Now, I wasn’t around when students first called themselves Redskins, so I cannot declare their reasons for choosing the name. However, given the history of the land on which the school sits and the beautiful architecture of the building, I could probably make a few guesses.
With all the negative press about the Affordable Care Act and the HealthCare.gov website glitches, I’m pleased to report that I am now enrolled in a new health insurance policy, effective Jan. 1, that reduces my deductible from $2,500 a year to $1,000 a year plus includes dental coverage that I never had before – at a total cost of about $100 per month less than my old policy.
As a member of the Kansas House Education Committee and a longtime member of United School Administrators of Kansas, I must take exception with Gov. Sam Brownback’s commentary (“Kansas schools not being shortchanged,” Oct. 27 Opinion). The governor stated that Kansas education has received an additional $200 million since he took office, but he failed to mention that the base per-pupil spending has decreased under his administration. The three-judge panel’s ruling that supported the school-funding lawsuit against the state attributed the current financial situation to a self-imposed crisis caused by the governor and his allies cutting taxes to nearly 200,000 business owners in the state.
The suicide rate in Kansas is increasing, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter states the mentally ill are filling his jail because of lack of treatment, and Sedgwick County’s Comcare lost 53 percent of its state funding for serving these people (“Suicide rate climbs by 30 percent in Sedgwick County,” Oct. 20 Eagle). These increasing personal tragedies are the inevitable, predictable fallout from this cruel political reality.
Congress soon must address several important issues, one of which is ensuring that Medicare’s payments to physicians are not cut by nearly 25 percent next year. Congress has repeatedly acted to override these cuts – usually by cutting other health care providers and suppliers to “pay for” the cost of not allowing the cuts to occur.
A meeting was held recently by Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett to come up with ideas to spur legislation to help combat copper and other metal thefts. The group included area farmers , electric providers, law enforcement, insurance companies, state organizations and elected officials.
Regarding City, FBI confirm threat to Wichitas water system (Oct. 19 Eagle): Rose Hill, where I used to live, originally had its own water wells but switched to Wichita city water for residential household needs. However, my parents drilled a private well in the drought year of 1980. It was a great well, serving more than 70 fruits trees and providing ample water for my large garden.
I think the Washington Redskins should not change their name. Mascot names are selected on the basis of bravery, courage and strength. You do not hear of butterflies, skunks or sparrows being selected as a name to represent a team. Why? Because they wouldn’t command honor and respect from their opponents.
Only a politician would celebrate having accomplished nothing. It is called self-absorption.
I would like to suggest some ideas for reducing the national debt. I am certain they will not be considered by the members of Congress. However, I think they would be a good start.
Columnist David Brooks said over the summer that he was prepared to write a scathing column decrying the increase in the demand for food stamps in this country, until he examined the facts. What Brooks found was a tremendous increase in the number of hungry people in this, the richest nation on Earth. The majority of those who receive food stamps are children, the elderly, the handicapped and the working poor. Knowing the facts, Brooks did not write that column but discussed his sad discovery of the increase in real hunger in our country.
It’s often been claimed that perception is reality. In my perception, the United States has a large playground called Washington, D.C. In this playground are children, sometimes referred to as politicians. These children have their favorite toys, which they guard closely and share only with closest friends. When children from outside their circle look at their toys, they start pointing fingers and calling them names.
I have for some time been concerned about the mindset that our government in Topeka seems to take in regard to those who are the neediest. But when I read “Helping kids go hungry” (Oct. 10 Eagle Editorial), my feelings went from extreme anger to shame.
I had the pleasure of visiting Capitol Hill last month to talk with members of Congress about an issue that is critical to the survival of hundreds of thousands of dialysis patients across the country: potential funding cuts to Medicare’s kidney care program. Patients who depend on the successful 40-year-old Medicare end stage renal disease program joined me.
It is shameful that there are 44 square miles of “food deserts” in a city in the middle of a huge agricultural region in the richest country in the world (Oct. 8 Eagle). It doesn’t have to be this way.
There is much being heard about the problems with the KanCare privatized managed-care program (“KanCare system criticized in Topeka hearing,” Oct. 8 Eagle). Here is one more area of concern:
The travesty of the federal government shutdown is that the politicians want us to believe they know what’s best – that they’re doing this for our own good. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I saw an article recently about a group of World War II vets who were traveling to Washington, D.C., to tour the National World War II Memorial and visit other monuments. The article suggested that these proud vets might not be able to experience these memorials because of the government shutdown.
Forty-six years ago, I took an oath to protect my country, believing that my country would take care of me if I fell in harm’s way. Little did I know that I may have been buying into a fairy tale.
The goal of KanCare is to improve outcomes for beneficiaries and taxpayers through integrated, whole-person care. Our providers have done an outstanding job doing what is best for members, helping patients get back into their homes sooner and providing services that consumers might not have received otherwise. That is not to say we aren’t aware of and concerned about the administrative issues some providers are experiencing 10 months into KanCare (“KanCare system criticized in Topeka hearing,” Oct. 8 Eagle).
I returned to Wichita recently after moving away in 1982. During my time away, I lived in four other states, raised three children (one birth and two adopted), lost my husband to cancer, worked as an advocate for parents with children receiving special education services in Colorado, and was appointed to the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer’s commentary was overwhelmingly speculative (“ACA will cost Kansas businesses, families,” Oct. 4 Opinion). No one knows for sure what the short- or long-term effects of the Affordable Care Act will be.
“Professors not smart” (Oct. 5 Letters to the Editor) said that a professor from Emporia State University had jumped on The Eagle’s “get-Gov. Sam Brownback bandwagon.” Unfortunately, this bandwagon is coming, and The Eagle has nothing to do with it.
I think back on my military service and wonder how things morphed into such political polarization. In the military, I thought of myself as being an American first. I wonder how such small groups of extremists from both political parties have hijacked the political process as to render it abysmal.
Regarding “Pompeo: Time for entitlement reforms” (Oct. 8 Eagle): I don’t normally agree with Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, about much, but I have to agree with his position on entitlements – though not the same ones.
If Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s goal was to create confusion, stop thousands of Kansas citizens from voting, and make a mockery of his position and effective state government, then he has succeeded wildly. His latest ambition to create a two-tiered system of voting – one for national elections and one for state elections – is a disaster waiting to happen (“Kobach laying groundwork to limit voting,” Oct. 5 Eagle).
So columnist Cal Thomas believes that government can’t do things “well and at reasonable cost” (Oct. 2 Opinion). As “proof,” he cited some Heritage Foundation study. This right-wing, corporate-fueled juggernaut of propaganda is to think tanks what Fox News is to journalism – an Orwellian travesty.
In these difficult times, we should not forget to count our blessings.