Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss KanCare expansion, Bill Clinton and toll highways in Missouri

KanCare expansion

It is almost impossible to express the anger I feel over the veto of the KanCare bill by Gov. Sam Brownback. (March 31, 1A “Kansas health care bill is vetoed”) It is hard to believe he cares so little about helping those who cannot help themselves. He has been living in the lap of luxury too long, which might account for his autocratic governance.

As a former Kansas attorney general, I am thankful he was not governor when I was in office.

Robert T. Stephan

Overland Park

I am sickened but not surprised that Gov. Sam Brownback continues to use the disability community to promote his agenda.

At the onset of KanCare, Brownback promised that savings produced by managed Medicaid would be used to eliminate the waiting list of developmentally disabled Kansans seeking state funding they need to live and function.

The state recently reported that KanCare has saved $1.5 billion. Why then is there still a waiting list of 3,500 people, of which my son is one? He was placed on the list two years ago and told it would be seven years before he would receive funding. As of today, his wait is still seven years.

Ron Fugate

Overland Park

The I-word

A couple decades ago, President Bill Clinton had an extramarital relationship with a consenting adult. Republicans spent some $70 million and wasted a year to investigate and finally impeach the president because he lied about the affair.

We now have a president who continues to repeat “alternative facts” about his campaign’s alleged direct connections to the brutal dictator of Russia, whose regime routinely assassinates political opponents. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former company, ExxonMobil, stands to make billions of dollars in an oil deal with Russian oligarchs. Are the dots so hard to connect?

If only Republicans, who were so concerned about stains on a blue dress, were now as concerned about the president’s involvement with a foreign adversary that interfered with our free election. Where’s the talk of impeachment now?

Richard Voss

Overland Park

Toll highways

The Star’s editorial “Tolls? Gas tax? Let’s at least have a chat about funding Missouri highways” (March 22, 16A) suggests tolling Interstate 70 is the only real choice to address Missouri’s road funding shortfall.

Tolling is just another form of big-government taxation. We already pay a gas tax in Missouri. Why should we pay an additional toll tax to use our roads?

It is simply not fair for residents and small businesses in the I-70 corridor to foot the entire cost of rebuilding I-70 through toll fees, which could allow MoDOT to transfer existing I-70 funds to other state roads. Surely, we all agree that MoDOT should not tax motorists on one road to pay for another.

Furthermore, studies have shown that up to 30 percent of tolling funds collected are usually squandered in administrative fees — funds that could otherwise go back into road construction. Talk about waste and inefficiency.

Missouri should not blindly follow Kansas down this path. We deserve a discussion including Missourians who are most affected by tolling our most important transportation asset. Let’s ensure there is at least an honest discussion.

Dan Robb

Jonesburg, Mo.

No to pipelines

The editorial excerpt from the Chicago Tribune is wrong (March 29, 15A, “Short take: Proceed with the pipelines”).

Stopping the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines is important for limiting greenhouse gases that disrupt our climate. Tar-sands exploitation is carbon-intensive, because it involves burning methane to heat the sands for extraction of the coal-like bitumen. More carbon dioxide means more droughts that disrupt agriculture and our food supplies.

The bitumen will not flow through pipelines unless noxious chemicals are added. The gritty flow corrodes the metal pipeline, with inevitable leaks polluting our soil and water. The Keystone XL is designed to serve export markets and will not help drivers in the United States.

It is unnecessary to expand America’s pipeline system, because electric vehicles operate with greater efficiency and will displace internal combustion vehicles. KCP&L is building a charging-point system to serve this trend.

Kansas City is among 30 municipal governments encouraging bids for a $10 billion purchase of electric vehicles. The pipelines are a 20th century technology and do not deserve expansion in our 21st century economy.

Our president thinks only in terms of quick profits, but the survival of our world is at stake.

James R. Turner

Kansas City