Letters to the Editor

Letters on county cuts, political ideology fatigue, KDOT cuts, small print

Health care cuts would be costly

The Sedgwick County Commission is contemplating eliminating funding for Project Access and some Sedgwick County Health Department programs.

The impact of the proposed 25 percent budget cut to Project Access would be significant. Cessation of health-promoting and disease-preventing programs would give rise to diseases requiring more costly treatments, not to mention their social and economic consequences.

Physicians, hospitals and other providers coordinated by Project Access have donated about $175 million for health care services since 1999 for many of the 60,000 Sedgwick County residents who do not have access to health coverage. The need for Project Access and health promotion and disease prevention in our community is real and necessary.

Have you or any members of your immediate family ever been seriously sick? Imagine having no access to health care. Think not only of physical but also of psychological, social and economic repercussions.

While some who have no access to health care are unemployed, many are hardworking but struggle to meet financial needs for basic existence – housing, food and clothing. If they are sick and unable to work, the economic drain to Sedgwick County from other programs and the community will far exceed the “savings” it contemplates to make in health program cuts.

An unhealthy populace dooms not just our community but our economy, ultimately our country itself. Health is wealth.



Community loses

I am incensed by the budget cuts recommended by Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau and Commissioners Jim Howell and Karl Peterjohn. I understand Howell, to his credit, is reconsidering. With the cuts, as originally proposed, individual taxpayers might save about $1.37 a year in property taxes, but the community would lose much, much more.

Emergency Medical Service staff has stated that the delay in building EMS posts in Derby and northeast Wichita will result in increased mortality rates, and the Kansas Health Institute’s report indicates cuts will result in 65 lives lost. Cutting Project Access means fewer poor people having access to health care. Does this not concern these commissioners?

We stand to lose revenue from decreased tourism and convention business, and we go the wrong way in convincing industry to come to Wichita for our great quality of life, provided in part by the Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place and Wichita Festivals. Tulsa and Omaha are booming. They understand the function of government and the purpose of utilizing bonds, which these commissioners have denounced.

The budget will be finalized Wednesday. E-mail commissioners: Jim.Howell@sedgwick.gov, Karl.Peterjohn@sedgwick.gov and Richard.Ranzau@sedgwick.gov.



Ideology fatigue

I’m fighting a serious bout of political ideology fatigue.

It started with that crazy behavior on the part of Congress and its inability to move important legislation because of clashes in political ideology. The government shutdown just accented the madness. But, hey, the voters sent many of these characters back to Congress.

Then Kansas, not to be left out, elected a governor and a Legislature that marched backward into failed economic policies of the past. Soon we had a state financial status that could be described simply as “in the tank.” But dollars to doughnuts, the Kansas voters will send them back to Topeka, no questions asked.

Then the Sedgwick County Commission majority – the three who rejected a balanced budget left by the former county executive – decided that we must cut previously proposed budget allotments to pay cash for certain county items, and declare null and void agreements we had with the city. It’s all about ideology.

As a voter, I’m really tired of being a lab rat in failed or questionable economic policy experiments. We need balance, common sense, Kansas values and all those other phrases that have become so overused they, too, sound trite.

Elections matter, folks, and if we keep electing folks who have brought us all of this recent pain, we deserve them.



Money to spare?

Gov. Sam Brownback has taken another $8 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation (July 31 Eagle)? KDOT won’t miss it? On the north side of Wichita, there is a bridge on I-235 that has been shored up underneath. How many more are there like it? If KDOT can spare the change, then wouldn’t our gas taxes be too high?

Does the state constitution provide for recall?



Small print

There are numerous situations where a business wants to keep facts from the customer. To be on the safe side of the law, these facts are stated, but it is in a font so small that the customer is unable to read it, even with glasses.

The intention of the business is clear in this situation. If the business wanted to inform the customer about the conditions of the offer or the dangers involved in using the medicine, the print size would be readable, at least with normal vision.

How many senior citizens have been deceived or had to face problems due to small print?

I appeal to state representatives or senators to take up the issue in the Legislature. It would save many senior citizens from falling into traps.



Letters to the Editor

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