Letters to the Editor

Kathleen Sebelius, struggling generation, heroin

Updated: 2014-02-08T01:32:07Z

Sebelius’ promotion

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to town and addressed a private event at the Full Employment Council, where she laid out a way to get more uninsured people to sign up for Omamacare (2-4, A1, “Campaign targets uninsured in KC”).

She said she wanted to put politics aside, but she spoke only to her supporters at this non-public event.

She should have included agents/brokers in her contacts because they can help people enroll and can advise on which insurance plans are recommended for the enrollees. The government does not have to spend one cent for enrollment help by an agent.

Health and Human Services has spent millions of dollars in grants to navigators, and we have no idea how successful they have been.

Too bad the government didn’t let the insurance companies do the Affordable Care Act marketing. More people would have signed up at less cost to the government, and in most cases the plans selected would have been better for the enrollees.

The same officials who set up the disastrous marketplace rollout are marketing the plans.

Any wonder why we have enrolled fewer than half the number estimated to make Obamacare financially successful?

Newell Mitchell

Overland Park

Struggling generation

I am in my late 20s. I went to college, got a job and make a decent salary. But it is still not nearly enough to support myself.

I can’t pay the $1,100 emergency-room bill for six stitches. I can’t pay the $780 bill to replace the water pump on my decade-old car.

I’m lucky I can pay rent and utilities. Forget about paying off my student loans.

My generation has no hope. We will never be able buy the house, support the family and save for the retirement our parents’ generation enjoyed.

While inflation continues to increase the cost of everything, salaries remain stagnant and income disparity continues to grow. Unless private companies and legislators do something about it, there will be no middle class left.

Tyler Allen

Kansas City

Heroin addiction

I would like to thank Tony Rizzo for doing the Feb. 2 front-page story, “Heroin is tightening its grip of destruction.” I am glad Kansas City has not seen the heroin use that St. Louis has, but it is lurking and ready to savage our kids.

Raising awareness of the epidemic the country is facing makes people stop and think at least for a minute. Please keep it in the forefront of the news.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, the actor who died of a heroin overdose, makes big news, but people like my son just get forgotten. I think Tony Rizzo wrote a very informative article to give a face to heroin, which is needed.

But on a slow news day, I might suggest that you follow through with a prevention article to parents, teachers and others.

Let them know the signs of heroin addiction and the recovery rate for opiate addiction, which is at best 5 percent.

I know it doesn’t seem like that can be a real number, but it is.

Once again, I would like to thank you for sharing my story and to encourage you to keep getting the word out.

Sarah McIntyre

St. Louis

Wireless legislation

I am writing in response to The Star’s Feb. 1 Capitol Watch editorial, “Fuzzy reception,” which criticized the Missouri General Assembly’s efforts to pass legislation that would help streamline wireless build-out throughout the state.

As a small-business owner, I increasingly rely on my cellphone to stay connected to my customers and clients as well as my friends and family.

From answering phone calls to managing emails to staying updated on the latest news, my wireless device is an essential part of my everyday life, which is why I support legislation that will positively affect efforts to improve wireless coverage and network capacity.

The editorial was right in one regard. Missouri does need a robust technological infrastructure.

Guidelines that balance the concerns of local officials with a straightforward statewide process providing clear direction on wireless build-out seems like a rational and reasonable approach to me.

I hope our state legislators agree and pass this legislation.

Bill Egelhoff

Kansas City

Great postal service

We all ought to give kudos to the mail delivery women and men who keep on keeping on.

Thank you for trudging through unshoveled walks and yards with nearly a foot of snow to get our mail to us.

Even in this age of Internet communication, I, for one, appreciate receiving the rare written word such as birthday cards through the mail on time. Neither rain, nor snow nor dark of night ...

Thanks for a great job, U.S. postal workers.

Marilyn Woods

Kansas City

KC past, future

Kansas City was a great city in the 1970s. We were in the top 10 convention cities in the country.

We had the new Bartle Hall and several hotels added to the great Muehlebach Hotel downtown. Kansas City was a hub city to several airlines.

TWA even had its repair facility here in Kansas City. Because we are centrally located, conventioneers came from at least a 1,000-mile radius to be in Kansas City.

This town had fewer major storms than Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago or even St. Louis. So our airport was shut down less than theirs.

Yet it is perceived that those other cities have more modern airports than Kansas City. They have central screening for passengers and luggage, central retail and restaurants.

Kansas City officials think they can build a better airport than any of the cities around us and still keep the qualities we like. Maybe some airlines might decide to make Kansas City International Airport their hub.

Maybe Kansas City might become a top 10 convention center again.

Ken McGovern

Overland Park

Backward lawsuit

I was disappointed to hear about the lawsuit that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is filing against California (2-2, A1, “Missouri enlists in the egg wars”).

In 2008, California’s voters overwhelmingly voted Proposition 2 (Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act) into law, outlawing the unsafe and inhumane practice of confining egg-laying hens in battery cages.

Egg farmers across America since then have had to upgrade their facilities if they wanted to export eggs to California. Voters in California have the right to outlaw unsafe and inhumane farming practices, practices that have long been outlawed in many European countries.

Even the United Egg Producers see battery cages as a practice that can and will be outlawed nationally in coming years. Not only have a few states banned the practice, but many grocers, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Safeway, are no longer carrying eggs from battery cages at the request of many customers.

If Koster’s lawsuit is successful, and I don’t think it has a chance, it would mean Missouri farmers would have less incentive to upgrade to safer, more humane facilities, resulting in more battery-cage eggs produced here with the higher risk for salmonella they pose to consumers.

This lawsuit makes Missouri farmers appear to be clinging to an outdated and inhumane practice.

Thank you to the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for leading the charge.

Kelsey Brennaman

Overland Park

Mellinger column

Let’s see, if there were a slogan for Sam Mellinger’s column (2-4, B1, “Royals’ slogan is no gem”), it might be “Not much else going on to write about so I’ll just start early this year bashing Royals’ management.”

Be Royal. I kinda like it.

Ann Cain

Kansas City

Good Samaritans

Many thanks to the Country Hill Court Band of Neighbors for clearing all our driveways and steps. Your names are prominently inscribed in the Book of Good Deeds.

Pam Bennett


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