Letters to the editor

01/21/2014 12:00 AM

01/16/2014 9:18 PM

Fixing health care

Many of the right-wingers who cry and moan about Obamacare should step back, take a breath and try to remember the Republican debacle of trying to fix our broken health care system in the early 2000s. First we had the Medicare Reform Act, when that bill showed its true colors by raising prescription costs on seniors.

Then lawmakers came up with the Medicare Reform Part D to fix the first debacle. All the while both of these so-called bills were thrust upon America as unfunded mandates.

The Affordable Care Act is not without faults. It is not perfect by any means.

But just like the GOP’s attempt to fix our soaring health care costs in this nation, it is a place to start. Our health care system in this country is terrible.

The cost of care goes up every year. We as a great nation deserve better.

So both sides need to work together to fix the broken parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Dennis Parker

Independence Obamacare exemptions

If Obamacare is so great for this nation, then why doesn’t it apply to all American citizens? Why are a certain segment of citizens exempted?

Namely, the president, members of Congress and union members? Is this not a nation for equality?

Beware. It is not a democratic government that dictates who gets what.

Thomas Hay

Kansas City Obamacare not socialism

Some people have been throwing around the word socialism, so I decided to review its meaning in my dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, socialism is a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. Or socialism is a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

Take the case of a law prohibiting public nudity. If people want to go out in public, they must wear clothing, or be penalized.

This situation is an example of government regulation but not socialism. Likewise, a law requiring everyone to have health insurance is an example of government regulation but not socialism. Additionally, here’s a definition for subsidy. It is a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public.

Frankly, those who rant that Obamacare is socialism don’t know what they're talking about.

Rick Witkowski

Kansas City Herbert column

On Danedri Herbert’s column on Jan. 15, “It’s time to cut off the feedbag of the public trough,” she states that the average federal employee’s salary in 2011 was $71,206 compared with $40,331 in the private sector. Ms. Herbert suggests that federal employee wages should be frozen until private sector wages “catch up or surpass” federal salaries.

There are currently fewer than 3 million federal employees, or 2 percent of the total workforce, and more than 115 million private sector employees. The private sector salary figures quoted in Ms. Herbert’s column include those of all the service employees in the United States.

The vast number of service workers in the country tends to skew private sector salary figures. If service salaries were to “catch up or surpass” federal salaries, we would be paying a minimum of $60 to $70 an hour to restaurant staff; sales personnel; farm workers; and numerous others.

Think about it.

Mona Glazer

Overland Park

I read Danedri Herbert’s diatribe about federal salaries. She argues that the average federal salaries should be the same as the average private sector salaries. Current federal job openings in Kansas City include pharmacists, medical doctors, nurses, therapists, contract specialists and social workers.

The fact is federal employment contains a disproportionate share of positions requiring higher education skills and certification compared to the private sector. The proper comparison is between federal and private sector salaries by occupational area.

Many studies have shown the higher you go in the federal service, the lower the salary in comparison with the private sector. This is not bad, however.

People whose major motivation is money should not be government employees. I’m not sure how you value those government law enforcement and foreign service personnel who sacrifice their lives for the nation.

Fortunately, there are people who value public service rather than wealth. Perhaps this explains why there are also disproportionately more veterans in the federal government.

We all benefit in some way from government beyond the military including Social Security, medical research, national parks and law enforcement. The nation deserves serious political discussion not the paucity of thought in Herbert’s column.

Bond Faulwell

Overland Park Helping children

Our grandson, Hunter, was in Children’s Mercy Hospital over the holidays. I was very pleased and surprised to learn that Jay Wolfe donates money each year to the hospitalized children who cannot go home to be with families.

The “snowflake program” made my grandchild smile and very happy. The holidays are for children, and this program makes a challenging time more tolerable.

We appreciate all of what has been done. Thank you, Jay Wolfe.

Richard and Flona Halley


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