Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Tort reform

Now that the Republicans have repealed Obamacare, many seem blissfully ignorant as to what will take its place. Here is a clue.

On April 27, 2012, former Fourth District Congressman Mike Pompeo wrote me a letter addressing this very issue. In it, Pompeo said that he was committed “to common-sense free-market solutions that increase health care quality while lowering costs for consumers and the government.”

Pompeo went on to say that he had voted for H.R. 5, the “Help Efficient Accessible, Low-cost Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act. This bill would enact basic medical liability reforms, reducing insurance premiums for providers while lowering health care costs for patients.” Pompeo ended by writing that it is essential for Congress to pass “meaningful” tort reform.

If this all sounds bogus, it is, proving that the Republicans haven’t changed much since 1965 when they tried derailing Medicare with an empty shell of a bill that they were proposing.

I agree that tort reform is needed, but it needs to be a separate issue to that of overhauling the health care system. Otherwise, the Republicans will hand us a red herring to replace something that was truly real and that had helped millions get health insurance coverage.

Michal Betz, Wichita

Russian influence

An Opinion Line contributor opines that if you believed any of the information on hacked Clinton or DNC e-mails you now know how Russians can influence elections. That does show they tried, but I don’t think they were very good at it. Hillary got well over 2 million more popular votes than Donald.

Harry R. Clements, Wichita


Thousands of hospital employees campaigning door to door all over Kansas could elect enough good legislators to expand Medicaid. Why don’t Democrats get organized and do this?

William T. Davitt, Wichita

Reproductive choice

Reacting to news coverage about a Guttmacher Institute report on anti-choice laws, Rep. John Whitmer called out Kansas as a “pro-life” state.

His statement is false.

Polling (such as a 2014 poll by NARAL Pro-Choice America, Trust Women’s own canvassing of 10 House and four Senate districts in 2015 and a 2016 Public Policy Polling poll conducted on behalf of Planned Parenthood) shows that like the rest of America, Kansans by a majority believe in reproductive choice. Even if terminating a pregnancy is not a choice they would make themselves, most people recognize that women should have the right to make their own health care decisions.

Whitmer should do more research before he makes such blanket statements. A Pew Research Center study earlier this year reported that seven in 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. While Whitmer’s circle may be anti-choice, the rest of Kansas – and the country – is not.

Trust Women Foundation calls on legislators such as Whitmer to consider facts and science when passing laws and to repeal restrictions based on lies. The Guttmacher report sadly found that Kansas is tied for No. 1 for the number of anti-choice laws based on junk science.

Kansas women deserve more.

Julie A. Burkhart, Founder and CEO of Trust Women Foundation

Health care

I thank our Kansas U.S. House delegation members for their courage in repealing and replacing the ACA, better known as Obamacare. To those in the Senate, I urge fast action to complete the cycle and get this to the president’s desk without delay. After all, why should a few sick people infringe on our ability to put another dollar in our pocket today. Like all actions, a little collateral damage is just the cost of doing business. And best of all, we can then correctly, and with out question, change the name to “Trump Care.”

Danny Clemmer, Wichita

Silence of Bishops

I am saddened by the silence of the United States Catholic Bishops in recent weeks. As President Trump brings us closer to nuclear war with North Korea, the United States Catholic Bishops have remained mute. As Arkansas executed inmates with a “cattle slaughter” mentality, not a word from the USCCB. As President Trump dismantles safeguards for the environment and systematically picks on the poor and downtrodden, the answer from the Bishops? Silence. This, even when they are backed by oft-repeated statements from Popes Paul VI, St John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis concerning war as a solution to conflicts, the “conception to natural death” stance of the Church, our care of the environment and the Church’s longstanding preferential option for the poor. With a few notable exceptions, the US Bishops are failing to courageously proclaim the Gospel message and to guide American Catholics in long-held Catholic positions.

Nancy Hughey, Wichita

Healthy teeth

A May 15 article “The painful truth about teeth” refers to the pain of a toothache. It is stated that in the rural areas of Maryland even the water is against the people. Unlike water from public systems, well water is not fluoridated. Nationwide 25 percent of Americans are not connected to a fluoridated water system and are missing out on what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called one of the 10 great health advances of the 20th century. Well welcome to Wichita where we defend tooth decay and stopped the fluoridation benefit by protecting our citizens from everything including a communist plot to killing our brain cells. We are not any more free or smarter because we did not add fluoride to our drinking water. If you live in Wichita, and have young children, they should be on fluoride tablets. You can ask their dentist or pediatrician for more information. If you don’t have a dentist or pediatrician, then you should ask your city council member to provide fluoride in our drinking water.

Tooth pain is not a good thing. We owe it to the children of Wichita to make their teeth as strong as possible. Having cavities at any age is not a good thing.

Robert Jabara, Wichita

Letters to the Editor

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