Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on voting rights, ACA, government shutdown, sidewalks

GOP wants to stop people from voting

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).

The voter-ID system pushed upon the states no longer has the stated goal of ensuring folks who vote are actual citizens. Its obvious goal is to sow the seeds of confusion, disenfranchisement and general disgust at our government.

Our national and state governments have survived since the beginning by asking folks wanting to vote to affirm under penalty of perjury with their signature that they are indeed who they say they are. As we all know, this worked fine with very few problems. There is no demonstrated need to change that.

When all logical situations concerning this voter disenfranchisement are addressed, and they have been, then the only thing left is to assume the obvious: Republicans want to stop folks from voting. Since this madness will affect both political parties, it is indeed madness.



Creating fear

We read with considerable interest Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer’s commentary, “ACA will cost Kansas businesses, families” (Oct. 4 Opinion). Most of his statements were false, either from lack of knowledge of the Affordable Care Act or a deliberate attempt to deceive Kansans for political purposes.

The ACA’s insurance exchange applies only to those who are uninsured. Individuals who currently have insurance, those covered by Medicare or an employee plan, are not affected by the ACA. There are four levels of coverage – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – with varying premiums and deductibles and co-pays (www.healthcare.gov). Individuals will not be forced to purchase a “luxury car with air-conditioned seats” plan or be fined. Individuals decide for themselves which level is appropriate based on their health care needs and financial circumstances. Also, health care providers will continue to practice best care because their top priority is their patients.

We are not defending the ACA. What we are challenging is using lies to manipulate and create fear for the sake of politics. We believe all Americans should be able to access affordable health care.

What would happen if both parties worked together to come up with real solutions to our health care crisis? Sadly, politics takes precedence over people.



Majority rule

“Tyranny of minority” (Oct. 2 Letters to the Editor) seemed to suggest a minority wants to deny millions of Americans access to affordable health care. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe the Affordable Care Act is the wrong prescription for our country and is tearing down the greatest health care system on Earth. It is affecting jobs of a great number of people. It creates far more problems to resolve than it solves.

Our present system of care is not perfect and should be improved. However, these health care decisions should never be made in Washington, D.C. I also think Congress should be required to be governed by the laws it passes for the rest of us.

“Tyranny” is defined as cruel and unfair treatment over others, oppressive power. Government divides the nation in order to assume power. The people lose freedom guaranteed by the Constitution, along with respect for one another.

In an already seriously divided and frustrated nation, let us return to freedom of rule by a majority guaranteed by the Constitution.



Hard to shrug

The government shutdown is already impacting critical areas such as health and safety. The National Institutes of Health have had to suspend potentially lifesaving cancer treatments. Food-safety inspections, especially with imports and produce, aren’t happening.

The shutdown could also impact obligatory services such as veterans’ benefits. I have a good friend whose son was critically injured in Afghanistan. He has had 25 surgeries and suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Civilian employees process most of the claims, and he has already been waiting more than a year for his disability benefits.

In Ayn Rand’s iconic laissez-faire novel “Atlas Shrugged,” two of the characters discuss what advice they might give the Greek mythological figure Atlas if the harder he tried to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, the heavier the burden. The advice was for him “to shrug.”

It may be a little hard for Atlas to shrug this one off.



Clear sidewalks

As a mom who frequently walks kids to school, I was glad to see Walk to School Day getting some attention (Oct. 6 Local & State). Because Halloween is fast approaching as well, perhaps this is a good time to remind Wichita homeowners that keeping your sidewalk clear is your responsibility. Grass and debris should be cleared, and trees or bushes are supposed to be kept trimmed away from the path, both horizontally and vertically. Sidewalk repairs are also an owner’s job.

Please walk your own sidewalk periodically to see what needs to be done.