I read with interest that the archdiocese in Kansas is discontinuing its support for the Girl Scouts. (May 2, 1A, “Kansas archdiocese severs ties with Girl Scouts, urges end to cookie sales”)
I think scouting programs for both boys and girls foster strong character development. While I support the Boy Scouts’ inclusion of gay and transgender members, the Catholic Church does not. Somehow that hasn’t resulted in the program being excluded from the Catholic schools.
Rejecting the program for girls based on a tangential thread to another group isn’t morality, it’s misogyny.
The long tail
The May 4 Congressional vote on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act is a true indicator of the political allegiance of our elected representatives in Congress. If this bill passes the Senate and becomes law, it will result in some people being uninsured who previously had broader coverage and others getting coverage on such limited terms that insurance protection will not be available when needed.
Should that happen, I think it is fair to conclude that our elected officials represent vested interests that sell insurance or others whose political objectives are focused on anything but improving the personal situation of Americans.
Congressional failure to work toward improving the lives of the people while rushing to replace current law with something that leaves people worse off will be a political issue that will not disappear.
The people who are adversely affected will be reminded of it every day.
Congressman Kevin Yoder weighed the political costs and decided to vote yes on the American Health Care Act, thereby handing a massive tax cut to the wealthy while denying health care to millions of people.
He must have decided he would win his seat again despite voting against the interests and desires of his district. The only point of this bill is the tax cut. What is the point of extolling a vote for the National Institutes of Health budget when the medical care it will research won’t be accessible?
The amendment to ensure pre-existing conditions will be covered is just political cover. It won’t do what it says it will do, and most of the Republicans don’t care whether it does anyway.
Rep. Yoder, you could have made a brave statement and won the hearts of your district and made Kansas more than a flyover red-state. Instead, you put your head down and your hand up to vote on a bill that is designed to hurt the needy and help the rich.
The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System helps provide retirement security for thousands of public employees — hard-working folks like myself who dedicate their lives to serving their communities. This year, the governor and the Legislature are looking to make another crucial mistake with KPERS — not paying their bills. This couldn’t be more irresponsible.
I’ve been a public employee for 20 years for the Kansas Department of Corrections. Every day, I’m proud to serve my community. I make less than my counterparts in the private sector, but I know I have the security I need in retirement through my public pension.
Just a few years back, a pension reform bill was agreed upon and the state set course to have KPERS funded by 2033 — a reasonable amount of time to get back on solid financial footing.
Over the last two years, we’ve been kicking the can down the road and not paying our bills. This is unacceptable. I urge Sens. Molly Baumgardner and Jim Denning to look at revenue-increasing measures so we can properly fund our pension system. If we don’t, we may find ourselves in an even worse place — the same as states like New Jersey and Illinois.
If budget-challenged Kansas can’t afford expensive metal detectors for psychiatric hospitals and is not willing to change its gun-toting statute, these facilities would have to rewrite their policies and procedure manuals regarding patient admissions.
When staff members remove shoelaces and nail clippers from patients’ belongings and lock up their wallets for safekeeping, they would have to tell their paranoid, delusional, grandiose, angry, psychotic and assaultive patients they can keep their guns on the unit. Why have 23-hour holds on mentally ill and homicidal patients when they can just shoot their way out of the place if they don’t want to stay?
I worked with psychiatric patients and on psych units for almost 30 years. I have witnessed staff and other patients being assaulted by these patients. I have seen police officers threatened and injured on these units.
Just watch the mental-health system abdicate even more of its responsibility for this care to the overcrowded local jails, which already operate as de facto psych facilities. At least the jails can take away their guns. For now.