Joco Opinion

Letters to the editor

Obamacare benefits

One of the arguments against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is that it is unfair to young healthy people because it requires them to buy insurance that they do not need — because, well, they are young and healthy and don’t need a lot of medical care. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act say that young people are forced to subsidize health insurance for older people.

But the whole concept of insurance is that you pay into it when you don’t need it, so you have it when you do. It may come as a shock to the average 20-something, but in the blink of an eye they will all wake up one day and be 50something — with high cholesterol and bad knees.

One of the biggest problems with our current health insurance system is that too many people wait until they are older and have health problems to buy medical insurance. Then when they really need health insurance, they can’t afford it. And we all pay for uninsured patients.

Under the Affordable Care Act, young people are not subsidizing medical insurance for older people. They are paying into an insurance program that will benefit them in the future, when they need it.

Richard Schapker Merriam Must see movie

Every American should see the movie, “12 years a slave,” the dramatization of the 1854 book by Solomon Northup, a New York state free black. While his wife visited relatives, Northup went to Washington, D.C., to see the capitol. He was wined and dine by white men who seemed to be on the right side of the racial divide.

They sold him into slavery. Unlike a “Gone With the Wind,” the movie has the slave quarters view of the plantation mansion. As a field hand, Northup suffers repeated beatings for failing to make the cotton quota for the day. After two attempts, a paid white plantation worker sends a letter north to his family and he is subsequently freed.

My prayer is that the Northup message will arouse white Americans to enlist in the campaign to see African Americans achieve the level playing field that has eluded them. Progress has been made.

But there are practical things that can be done to hasten the day of a totally unified nation. I volunteer at the Carver Baptist Bible College and Seminary in the inner city. For 70 years, our Christian college, named for the great African-American scientist, George Washington Carver, has been offering professional training for pastors, missionaries and other church workers, all at low cost.

The college is at 7203 Paseo. You can find us at

Rev. Lyle P. Murphy Leawood
Awesome help

My purse was stolen from my car while I was serving at a church function on a recent Tuesday evening in Spring Hill. Awful and scary for a short time.

But then the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department (awesome), the Spring Hill Police Department (also awesome), all of the businesses I contacted (amazing — especially US Bank, Conoco Phillips and AmEx), and the department of motor vehicles in Mission were extremely organized, efficient, friendly and helpful.

I was in and out of the department of motor vehicles in under 15 minutes. And a special thanks to the wonderful man in line next to me, who gave me a dollar so I could pay the $16 fee.

And I received a very good lesson — know exactly what cards you have in your wallet and to have copies at home. So from an awful experience came some awesome encounters with truly lovely people.

Margie Burton Shawnee Pope Francis’ call

Perhaps Pope Francis’ messages of late are aimed at the apocalyptic and conspiratorial driven aspects of conventional modern-day Christianity. These fail to realize that the world’s situations will not get better until there is rational discourse between those who view the New Testament as a call to see the wisdom in it and those who decry the evil in man and the need to destroy him.

As one who does not ascribe to religion, I and the few who agree with me are caught daily in the problems created by these two powers failing to come to an understanding.

John Nelles Shawnee Puppy mill misery

A white Christmas means misery for puppy mill dogs. For dogs forced to live in puppy mills, snow means many cold nights alone in cramped cages outside.

Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities, where dogs typically live in deplorable conditions. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or online during the holiday season are likely supporting these cruel puppy mills.

Last month, The Humane Society of the United States released the results of a hidden-camera investigation that traced the sources of puppies sold in Texas pet stores and flea markets. The investigation showed that many Texas pet stores obtained puppies from puppy mills, including some of the worst facilities in the United States.

This investigation was the latest to demonstrate the widespread consumer fraud and abuse occurring throughout this industry. Over and over again in these investigations, stores claimed that they did not buy their puppies from puppy mills when, in fact, they did.

When you buy a dog online, from a pet store or a flea market you just do not know what you are going to get and you are likely supporting a cruel puppy mill.

Shelley Homan Olathe