The Star’s Dec. 29 editorial, “Missouri and Kansas should expand Medicaid,” endorsed expanded Medicaid based on saving lives and obtaining millions of federal dollars for Kansas and Missouri, freeing up state funds for other state programs.
As for the millions of federal dollars, who pays?
The federal government borrows money, prints money and, now, raises taxes to fund programs. Kansas and Missouri taxpayers have to foot that bill.
As proposed, expanded Medicaid simply shifts costs from the state to the federal government. The current $16 trillion national debt will be more than $20 trillion by 2016.
Social Security and Medicare are essentially bankrupt. If the states spend their savings, the combined federal and state costs to taxpayers will still be higher than before.
Saving lives is a worthy goal, but how many millions does the nation have to spend to save how many lives? And how much will the states lose when taxpayers have to send their money to the federal government instead of spending it in the state?
Federal dollars have become our fool’s gold. I will always believe Kansas and Missouri can manage their funds and programs better than the federal government.
King Barack Obama?
As we approach his second inauguration, our president continues to fly around the country on Air Force One to wage his class war against those he considers to be rich. I hope that Americans (rich and nonrich) are paying attention to how the president is spending our money.
According to invoices submitted to the Office of Protocol at the State Department, the White House spent a bunch of taxpayers’ money on two state dinners. In October 2009, a dinner for the head of state in India cost another bundle of cash and an additional event in May 2010 for the president of Mexico ate even more precious dollars.
While I support the fact that the president has certain duties to fulfill and he’s entitled to the perquisites and protections that his office entails, in this struggling economy I’d like to see him act a little less like King Louis XIV and a little more like Harry S. Truman.
Carolyn K. Patterson
Health care gamble
In the Jan. 2 “As I See It” column, “Politics hurts the uninsured,” writer Branden W. Comfort of Wichita introduces us to “Tom,” a hard-working farmhand diagnosed with bladder cancer. According to Comfort, Tom “takes personal responsibility for himself and his health. He does not smoke ... lives an active lifestyle, works hard every day at a job that contributes to society, and pays his taxes.”
It is clear that Tom is a good and decent American facing a tragic circumstance, but his case does not support the need for taxpayer-funded health care, just the opposite. Tom is uninsured.
While Tom may take personal responsibility for himself and his health, he gambled with his financial future and that of his family by not purchasing health insurance.
Had he purchased even the minimum catastrophic care for himself, he wouldn’t be facing bankruptcy, have had to sell his home and have depleted his savings and his children’s college funds.
So Comfort, why should taxpayers pick up the tab for Tom’s health care when he chose to not insure his health? Personal responsibility includes insuring ourselves and our families.
Tom’s example should be a warning for us all.
Abstaining from sex
In this day and age, sex is no longer a sacred act. It is common.
We say to be safe and use protection, and we don’t even consider abstinence until marriage.
The benefits of waiting until marriage are worth it.
According to WebMD.com, couples who waited to have sex until they were married rated their sexual quality 15 percent higher, their relationship stability 22 percent higher and their satisfaction with their relationship 20 percent higher than those who did not wait.
Abstinence eliminates the chances of unwanted teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. It also eliminates the emotional baggage and feelings of regret from having multiple sexual partners.
Some may argue that it isn’t smart to wait, comparing your loved one to a car, saying, “You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, would you?”
But, according to the statistics, the people who don’t “test drive” are much more satisfied than those who do. Why make it harder on yourself than it needs to be?
New energy source
The need for a new primary source of energy in this country is growing every day. Sooner or later, oil will run out, and when it does what will happen?
The country will go into chaos when no one will be able to drive and nothing will be produced. You don’t realize how much is actually made with oil and how many times every day you use products made from oil.
Simple items such as computers, calculators, erasers, backpacks, earphones and even pacifiers are made using oil.
Someone may say we still have enough oil to last generations, but at the rate people are using oil, it would be necessary and safer to have a backup plan for a new energy source.
Most other energy sources are much cleaner than oil and will benefit humans in the long run.
Finding a new energy source is necessary because oil reserves will run out, and when they do, we won’t be able to wait millions of years for oil to be produced again.
Americans need a new resource for their health and for their environment.
Respect for firearms
My dad took me to hunt ducks when I was maybe 3 or 4. At age 10, I became the owner of a single-shot .410 shotgun, as did my brother.
Dad taught us how to use them and respect their deadly power. We hunted game.
Later I was drafted and taught to use automatic weapons from the AR-15 to machine guns.
As a teen, I experienced a shameful time of shooting and killing animals just because they were there. Even with the best of examples and proper training, I shouldn’t have had a gun without supervision.
Guns shouldn’t be available to unsupervised teens or otherwise impaired-judgment people. I’m convinced that military-type weapons belong only in the military. There’s no reason for our children, teachers, workers, first responders or other citizens to encounter the slaughter such weapons cause.
There is a debate over putting armed guards in schools or enacting a ban on assault weapons. We must do both.
I support my right to own guns. But I cannot understand the National Rifle Association’s support for military-type weapons and objections to other safety measures. The NRA isn’t doing it for us, the sportsmen. And, it’s killing us.
Put away cellphones
Texting and driving is dangerous for drivers, passengers and other drivers around.
According to stoptextsstopwrecks.org, using a cellphone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reaction as much as the legal limit for a blood-alcohol concentration. Thirty-nine states, not including Missouri, plus the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from text messaging (textinganddrivingsafety.com).
Out of sight out of mind. Putting a cellphone away from the driver causes less temptation to text or even hear it go off. In this case, the driver could also turn off the ringer or put it on vibrate so that there is no temptation.
Some drivers, mainly teens, may argue that they can multitask if they’ve already been driving for a while. But seeing that it’s mainly young adults and teens who are in the crashes, they should stop thinking that they can multitask.
How many crashes have to happen before texting while driving becomes illegal in every state?
Obesity among kids in America is a major problem, and it has been for a while.
The number of obese kids is at an all-time high. Over the past three decades, it has tripled.
Most children are just not motivated to exercise. They’re more focused on other things.
There are about 12.5 million obese children ages 2 through 19, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. That’s far too many.
Even families with little money have obese kids. One out of seven kids from low-income families is obese.
Do we really want kids to suffer from diabetes as teenagers?
Parents can take action by feeding their kids healthier food and encouraging them to exercise regularly. Children can also help by just cooperating with their parents.
It sounds easy, but it will take some work, and in the end it will all be worth it.