Veterans being used
One Missouri senator, knowing that legislators oppose Obamacare Medicaid expansion, is aggressively pursuing “Medicaid expansion for veterans.”
At first glance, the idea of expanding Medicaid for veterans is a little odd, given that veterans already are entitled to health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. And the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act should further enhance veterans’ access to care, both inside and outside the VA system.
The senator’s bill, mirroring Obamacare, would raise income eligibility limits for Medicaid up to 138 percent of poverty. But children are already eligible for Medicaid up to 148 percent of the federal poverty level, and they are eligible for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program up to 300 percent of poverty ($71,556 per year for a family of four).
Traditionally, veterans’ health care has been provided by the federal government, and no other state has expanded Medicaid only for veterans. One lobbyist told a member that he would “sic 50,000 veterans” on us.
The proposed legislation appears to be a cynical tactic aimed at pitting principled opponents of Obamacare Medicaid expansion against veterans, for the benefit of progressive activists and millionaire hospital chief executives.
Veterans who served our country deserve better than being used as pawns in this petty, desperate effort.
Sen. Robert F.
Lake Saint Louis
Gov. Sam Brownback last year announced his “Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas.” While I think the vision is too narrow, it is the only document available for guiding the development and implementation of policies for resolving water issues in Kansas.
Brownback later announced plans for filling an estimated $280 million hole in the general fund budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30. An estimated $436 million hole exists for the next fiscal year.
Additional holes exist in future fiscal years. Two bond-rating services have cut Kansas’ bond rating.
The governor’s vision and my research and testimonies show the complexity and difficulty of Kansas water issues and policies for resolving them.
I think water issues are the most important public-policy issues in Kansas.
Budget holes and lowered bond ratings threaten achievement of the vision. It calls for establishment of a blue-ribbon task force to find a way to finance achievement of the vision.
Ultimately, the Legislature will have to appropriate monies and strengthen laws for water. Without these measures, the vision becomes an illusion.
That should not happen to Kansans.
Allyn O. Lockner
Cash in U.S. politics
The Koch brothers should be banned from any and all political activities (1-30, Editorial, “Record flood of cash in 2016 elections”). Injecting close to $900 million into the 2016 congressional and presidential races is a disgusting and disturbing thought.
It reeks of corruption and political favors for those who pay the most. In doing so, away goes any and all semblance of a government of the people, by the people and for the people as our forefathers intended.
The common men and women of this country fall by the wayside.
This stinks of government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. It’s government for special interests and big corporations.
The last thing we need is more money in political races. We need to get money out of them and restore some sanity to a system that has absolutely lost its mind.
I personally find excessive wealth to be both anti-American and unpatriotic.
Yes, I know the Constitution gives people that right, but no human being needs billions of dollars to live a comfortable lifestyle, especially when there are too many people doing without necessities because of insufficient finances.
Accordingly, rest assured that I will never vote for any issue or candidate that billionaires or their kind back with huge contributions — or any contribution for that matter.
I don’t want my elected representatives beholden to overbearing, greedy, power-hungry billionaires.
Our country would be far better off without such narrow-minded, self-serving citizens.
In response to the Feb. 3 letter writer on gun-show loopholes, once we fix the issue of unreliable people buying guns at gun shows will we then go after the unreliable people who buy cars?
Gunmaker in Kansas
In the last several months, we have had several children killed in drive-by shootings in Kansas (and Missouri).
I did not see the governor of either state attend these very sad funerals of children killed by guns owned by who knows who, and who knows whether those individuals owned those guns legally?
Despite that we continue to cultivate a culture, particularly in Kansas, of guns for one and all.
Now Kansas wishes to bring a manufacturer of these guns to the state because, well, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Well, people with guns kill people. I read quite a bit and watch the news media. Rarely do I see anything from any foreign country where there are drive-by shootings of children in cities.
What bothers me about the Feb. 1 article, “Kansas on the hunt for makers of firearms,” was that The Star did not print any article about the culture of guns in Kansas and the growing number of guns in our society. I would like to see an article on that topic.
Perhaps that would help me understand the need to manufacture guns in Kansas other than to balance the budget.
Gwen G. Caranchini
Plastic grocery bags
On some cities and states banning the use of plastic bags, some important facts have been left out. First, reusable cotton bags are ecologically irresponsible.
Growing a pound of cotton requires more than 2,000 gallons of water, and water is a resource that’s in high demand. Also, consider the energy cost of processing the cotton.
Second, the (admittedly few) people I’ve discussed this subject with never wash their reusable bags. The last time they used that bag, their meat may have leaked E. coli.
The next time, my food could pick up the germs from the spot where their bag sat on the counter. And if you do decide to clean that bag, what about the energy, water and chemical cost that washing incurs?
Third, forests are not an indefinitely renewable resource. Cutting trees affects the forests if they’re cut too quickly.
How do you know where that paper came from? You don’t. If you insist on paper, please recycle it.
We don’t have to be trashy.
Use lightweight, low-impact plastic bags, and then recycle them at the store. That’s what I do in Prairie Village.
Season for change
Each year after the seasons change from autumn to winter, I try to think of warm things to sustain me. Mentally, I try to think about gifts for others.
This winter, it’s a little harder to find those warm thoughts to think about when I am reading about so many people heartbroken by recent events in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., and the protesting that marches on.
I am grateful for my family and friends, who have loved me and saved my life so many times.
Each one that passes on as I grow older reopens that grieving wound again. The feeling of loss is universal, even when the circumstances vary, and the events of last year have proved that something is wrong and no longer fits.
We must change our minds.
This winter, I wish for a pause and reflection.
We see the drying stream and the gnarled vines that have blocked the water, but we haven’t figured out how to cut it away. For 2015, I wish for plain speak and truth about what’s happening.
Slow and steady, lest swifter men fall.
Super Bowl win
Patriots win Super Bowl. I feel so deflated.
Kansas City, Kan.