Not so fast
The Star ran a favorable editorial on Rep. Kevin Yoder. (April 1, 8A, “Yoder distinguishing himself as an advocate for internet privacy”)
He broke with party lines and sided with 190 Democrats in the House in an attempt to allow former President Barack Obama’s internet privacy for consumers executive order to stand. However, Obama’s attempt to protect our online information from being mined by rapacious entities was defeated.
Please do not assume that this makes Mr. Yoder a consumer advocate. He voted yea on HR 538, which permits fracking on Native American lands. He voted yea on H.J. Res. 38, which allows corporations to dump pollutants into streams.
His voting intentions on the so-called American Health Care Act are unclear, since he rather coyly declined to state which way he would vote.
While I appreciate Yoder’s desire to preserve our online transactions from targeted advertising, I also wish he would further break with his Republican colleagues and protect the quality of our water, air and schools.
But I suppose that would make him a Democrat, and there appears to be no greater flaw in Kansas.
Kansas City, Kan.
Don’t flush meds
In the March 29 article about Sen. Claire McCaskill leading a congressional probe of the opioid industry (6A, “Opioid industry draws scrutiny of McCaskill”), she said she flushed unneeded pills down the toilet.
Medications flushed or poured down the drain pollute our water system, affecting fish, birds and other wildlife and contaminating the source of our drinking water. Most drugs are not removed by treatment plants. Scientists regularly find medicines in surface, ground and river water.
Throwing unused medicine in the trash is better than flushing, but the drugs can be released into the environment through landfill liquid.
Disposing of unwanted medicines at a takeback program is the safest solution. Saturday, April 29 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., police officers will collect unwanted medications at locations all over the metropolitan area.
Store unused medications in a safe and secure place until you are can drop them off at a drug take back event near you.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget shows significant cuts to the International Affairs Budget.
According to the U.N. Millennium Project, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day and one person dies every 3.6 seconds of starvation. The numbers can be overwhelming.
Using federal dollars to respond to these issues doesn’t only put the United States in a position of international leadership, but it’s also clear that fighting poverty, which reduces international development, is an important cornerstone of our National Security Strategy (defense, development and diplomacy).
The National Security Strategy of the George W. Bush administration pointed out that “poverty, weak institutions and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders.” I strongly urge Rep. Kevin Yoder to fight Trump’s calls to cut funding for foreign aid.
Not just lying
The April 2 letter “The I-word” (12A) needs a major clarification. Bill Clinton was not impeached “because he lied about the affair.” Clinton — the president sworn to uphold the law — was charged with lying about the affair to a federal grand jury while under oath and with obstruction of justice. Big difference.
How it works
Charles Krauthammer seems to fundamentally misunderstand health care and insurance when he says that he shouldn’t have to pay for coverage for maternity care and lactation consultants. (April 4, 11A, “Let health care customers decide what coverage they need”)
He probably doesn’t need coverage for pancreatic cancer at the moment either, but that doesn’t mean that this coverage should not be included in his plan, and we don’t share the costs of cancer treatment only among those who have been diagnosed with the disease.
Overall, insurance is typically cheaper and better when all policies include a broad range of coverages so that costs can be widely shared.
Conservatives are supposed to be the financially responsible ones, but Krauthammer seems to be largely uninformed when it comes to financial issues.