Letters to the Editor

August 16, 2014

Readers share thoughts on the Supreme Court, the Missouri sales tax and health care

I read with equal parts anger and amusement that Missouri officials fear a rise in traffic deaths because of the recent defeat of the proposed sales tax. This is a ridiculous and cynical attempt to blame these highway deaths on us, the taxpayers, for our callous vote to defeat the tax.

Faith, high court

What’s all the fuss about six members of the U.S. Supreme Court being Roman Catholic?

That august bloc of Catholic male jurists merely interprets the law, as their own religion’s fathers have done with ecclesiastical law for centuries.

When it comes to enforcing the Supreme Court’s decisions, however, most lay people, Catholics and otherwise, will enforce the law the way they see fit. However, one could wish for one or two Catholic jurists to be replaced by people of other faiths.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City

Sales tax defeat

I read with equal parts anger and amusement that Missouri officials fear a rise in traffic deaths because of the recent defeat of the proposed sales tax.

This is a ridiculous and cynical attempt to blame these highway deaths on us, the taxpayers, for our callous vote to defeat the tax.

Do not accept the notion that voters are to blame for this situation. If these Missouri officials want to assign blame, they need look no further than the big, domed building down the street.

Missouri legislators pushed a $600 million tax cut that mostly benefited corporations and Missouri’s highest income earners. And then they tried to get voters to pass a huge sales-tax increase that would hurt low-to-middle-income Missourians the most.

But they would have us believe that voters are responsible for whatever consequences ensue.

Do not accept this blather and do not allow these legislators to forget that they alone are to blame for the consequences of their fiscal irresponsibility.

Duane Curtis

Kansas City

Health care squeeze

I just finished talking to officials with a medical provider in Lee’s Summit. They informed me that they cannot provide for my medical needs because I will not sign their agreement that specifies that I will pay all their charges regardless of what my insurance policies pay.

I have Medicare and a Plan F supplement, which specifies that I have no co-pays or deductibles. Health-care professionals check my insurance before every appointment to make sure it is in force.

But they are still afraid that they might bill me something the insurance companies will not pay and they want me to guarantee that they get paid.

I like to pay my bills, and I am careful not to spend more than I can pay. But they will not allow me this comfort.

I think the medical establishment is getting too powerful when officials cannot tell you in advance what they will bill you or whether your insurance company will pay for it. No wonder medical debt is the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

This is just another example of why we need single-payer health care.

Corky Lewis

Lee’s Summit

Health care forum

I invite you to join me for a town hall forum on Tuesday at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus for a discussion on the importance of critical federal funding for lifesaving research.

As a congressman, I frequently meet with patients and groups fighting for scientific breakthroughs to ease their suffering. As they advocate for solutions, it’s my job to advocate for them.

Each year, we spend less than 1 percent of our federal budget on funding for the National Institutes of Health.

These precious resources come back to our communities and employ world-class researchers at KU and other universities around the country.

As our nation is challenged with how to combat rising health-care costs, funding for disease prevention and treatment is critical to future health-care savings. In an effort to juggle deficit reduction with investments in our future, our government must reprioritize spending away from wasteful bureaucracy in Washington and toward spending on critical biomedical research that can make a difference in each of our lives.

Visit my website for more information: www.yoder.house.gov. I hope you can attend.

Rep. Kevin Yoder

Overland Park

Diuguid column

So Lewis Diuguid went to Alaska midsummer, when the sun shines for 20 hours each day, and saw some ice melting (8-13, Commentary, “Climate change is raising temperatures in Alaska”). From that he deduces that global warming is about to change everything as we know it.

That’s some solid journalism for you.

Scott King

Prairie Village

Police lack diversity

Maybe Ferguson, Mo., is an example why the police racial makeup should match with the community (8-14, A1, “Protest taking violent turn”).

Wade Hildenbrand

Blue Springs

Immigration reform

A majority of Americans are convinced that immigration reform done the right way would help our country. Last year, a bipartisan group of senators worked together, came up with a common-sense solution and passed a bill that isn’t perfect but is a step toward real immigration reform.

So we’re nearly there, right?

But where are Reps. Kevin Yoder, Sam Graves, Lynn Jenkins and Vicky Hartzler? The release of the Republicans’ Standards for Immigration Reform is a much-needed sign of movement. These standards are an opening, but we need real legislation to come from them.

Poll after poll show that our country doesn’t want to see more hostile bills on immigration. We want bipartisan, common-sense legislation that converts the undocumented into full participants in our society, reforms the legal immigration system and makes for effective and humane enforcement and border security.

We cannot let immigration reform stagnate. The need won’t go away but will keep growing.

Now is the time for real reform on a bipartisan basis, and I call on our Kansas and Missouri lawmakers to tell House leaders that they need to lead with their own bipartisan bill, follow the Senate’s actions or get out of the way.

Angela Ferguson


Women, abortion

I’m writing to express my gratitude for Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 1307, which would force a 72-hour waiting period on a woman seeking an abortion in Missouri.

The logic of Missouri legislators was that an increase in the waiting period would give women more time to consider the consequences of their actions. What this bill really does is create greater hurdles for women seeking medical care, which they have already thought long and hard about.

Currently in Missouri, to have an abortion a woman must receive counseling information, sign a consent form, have two health-care appointments and go through a 24-hour waiting period. Despite all of these hoops that women have to jump through, lawmakers still think they need more time to think.

The decision to have an abortion is not easy nor is it one that women make on a whim. It is a carefully thought-out and intensely personal decision.

Gov. Nixon recognizes that personal medical decisions should be left to a woman and her family with the counsel of her health-care provider, not to politicians.

Missouri legislators should do the right thing and let the veto stand.

Alex Frogge

Lee’s Summit

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