Letters to the Editor

Letters on Project Access, Westar increase, GMO labeling, VA system

Project Access a good investment

The following letter was submitted by the board of directors of the Central Plains Health Care Partnership – Thomas Bloxham, Joe Davison, Daniel Caliendo, Donna Sweet, Maurice Duggins, Debra Messamore, Eli Brumfield, George Lucas, Lucynda Raben, Jon Rosell, Suzie Ahlstrand, Deborah Donaldson, Sherry Hausmann, Mary Neely:

As health care providers and community leaders, we are all too familiar with the impact in our community from the nearly 65,000 Sedgwick County residents who do not have health insurance. The vast majority of them work in jobs that, unfortunately, don’t offer health insurance, or they don’t qualify for insurance programs through the Affordable Care Act.

When many of the uninsured individuals get sick or injured, they frequently turn to Project Access for coordinated health care services donated by 630 volunteer physicians, all of our area hospitals, and 85 participating pharmacies. Project Access coordinates delivery of about $15 million in donated care to our neighbors annually and more than $175 million since its inception in 1999.

From the beginning, the city of Wichita, United Way of the Plains and, until now, Sedgwick County have been the principal supporters of this vital program. But the proposed 2016 Sedgwick County budget eliminates all funding for Project Access. We think Project Access is a clear example of a locally driven program that works and an excellent investment of our tax dollars.

We encourage you to contact your county commissioner and encourage him to restore the proposed cuts to the county health department and Project Access, and to do his part to help make our community a healthier one.

Nice to be Westar

I never knew you could request a guaranteed 10 percent return on an investment. That’s a nice deal for Westar Energy investors.

I never knew I could tell Medicare to raise its rates when the for-profit health care companies I worked for needed to upgrade equipment, or renovate office space, or any of the other expenses that came out of operating expenses. Like all companies, with the exception of Westar, we knew these expenses were coming and then we planned and budgeted for them.

How can we expect Westar to provide cost-efficient electricity when it knows that all it has to do is go to the Kansas Corporation Commission and ask for more money? Why be efficient? Why cut costs?

An increased cost of $60 to $84 a year for the average residential consumer may not sound like much, but to many of us it is a budget breaker (Aug. 7 Eagle).

And the Westar executives will continue to get their excessive salaries and bonuses.



Allow to label?

Really? According to a bill Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is championing, the Food and Drug Administration must allow, but not require, food with genetically modified organisms to be labeled as “GMO.” Is that what we get from Pompeo’s work, which is supposed to be on behalf of consumers? And our captured politicians and the equally captured bureaucrats would still have us believe the FDA is a regulatory body looking out for the welfare of unwary consumers.

And the phrase “must allow” is such obvious sleight of hand. It is as though Big Ag has been pleading to label its food products as GMO, and now government must let it.

Yes, Americans, your political leaders walk hand in hand with those they regulate, and together marvel at how stupid you are.

Just put a label on foods containing GMOs and let consumers decide. It should be that simple. But then again, when regulatory government is used by those it “regulates,” nothing is ordinary.

As for genetically engineered seeds not doing what they are supposed to do: Check out the website Right To Know-GMO.


Rose Hill

GMO crops safe

As a mother, farmer and Kansas Farm Bureau district director, I would like to thank Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, for his hard work in passing the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act through the House of Representatives. This bill is a commonsense, science-based approach to the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

In December I had the opportunity to testify in Washington, D.C., in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee about this legislation. It was an amazing experience to hear everyone on the panel – even the witnesses who supported mandatory labeling – affirm that the crops that I plant in my fields and feed to my family are completely safe. Even those opposed to this legislation stated that the ingredients made from GMO crops are safe.

I am proud to see a Kansan take the lead in passing legislation to ensure that Kansas will continue to be the “breadbasket of the world” and keep safe, abundant and affordable food on the tables of families across America.



Support VA

Congratulations to the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center on its plans to build a new emergency room and two additional operating suites (Aug. 4 Local & State). As a former employee, I can attest that the VA system in Wichita deserves this.

The expansion will also help the local economy, as people will come to the VA for treatment and spend extra money locally.

Support the VA system; I do.



Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact

Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.