Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss health care madness, morning drinking in Kansas and Gazans’ plight

Open it up

There needs to be more transparency for patients when dealing with health care providers and hospitals. Before a procedure is performed, an estimate of costs and insurance payments should be mandatory so consumers can do competitive shopping.

As it is, the more ignorant the health care consumer, the more profitable for the provider. Shopping for health care across state lines should be allowed.

When other types of insurance were permitted to cross state lines, we saw an immediate drop in costs. Why should health insurance companies be permitted to hide behind state lines shielded from the competitive marketplace?

Gregory Bontrager


Booze, pot

Oh, goody, goody. We Kansans now get to go drinking much earlier. (May 15, 3A, “In Kansas, 6 a.m. drinking can begin within days”)

Am I missing something? How does it help businesses that people can drink at 6 a.m.? I don’t get it.

And with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism telling us the U.S. sees about 88,000 deaths each year related to alcohol, Kansas continues to reject even the most restrictive medical marijuana proposal that has been shown to save lives. How many deaths have been attributed to marijuana consumption? Zero.

According to state Rep. Abraham Rafie, who voted against the recent medical marijuana amendment, the science behind medical cannabis is mixed. (March 26, KansasCity.com, “After emotional debate, medical marijuana rejected by Kansas House. But not by much”) Who is your scientist, Rep. Rafie? President Donald Trump?

And while other states reap the benefits from legalization, Kansas, as usual, stands still.

It is a fact that states that have legalized marijuana have shown a sharp decrease in alcohol sales. What is it about facts that certain legislators refuse to accept?

Sam Dworkin


Collective good

Working people continue to struggle in an economy rigged against them by corporate CEOs and the wealthy. Corporate special interests and willing politicians have written the economic rules to favor themselves, not the workers who make the companies successful and put the politicians in office.

Now people are working longer hours for less pay, and many are trapped in a downward economic spiral. It’s time for our elected leaders to give working people more freedom to join together in unions.

Without the freedom to come together, working people would not have the power in numbers they need to make our communities safer, stronger and more prosperous.

Unions give workers powerful voices in speaking up for themselves, their families and their communities. Just look at the West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona teachers’ strikes as evidence that unions are more important than ever. It’s time for our elected leaders to let us know what side they are on.

I urge all voters to take a close look at the voting and donor records of their elected officials to see where their interests really lie, and to send a message that people count, not special interests.

David Galvan


A model system

After reading the guest commentary about the voting process in Mexico, I don’t think our president should build a wall. (May 9, 17A, “KC’s Mexican citizens part of electoral picture”) Instead, we should invite the people who are responsible for Mexico’s elections to come over the border and help our voting systems to follow in their footsteps.

In all my 96 years, I have always thought that our response to the rights of our voters to take part in our system has been miserable. It should be a privilege that we should all be eager to participate in.

Those responsible for running our system should go learn from Mexico’s, and then bring it home for our enlightenment.

June Hartley

Lee’s Summit

Gazans trapped

On Monday, Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinian protesters in Gaza and shot and wounded more than 2,700. (May 15, 1A, “Israeli troops kill dozens at Gaza border as U.S. embassy opens in Jerusalem”) In addition to the several thousands of protesters injured and up to 100 killed by Israeli troops during the past six weeks of protest, the Committee to Protect Journalists adds 22 journalists injured.

Is there any other country that could shoot unarmed reporters and protesters and not be condemned by U.S. lawmakers?

Israel is not defending its “border” from protesters. Gaza is not a sovereign country with borders but an area controlled by Israel, blockaded on all sides, which Gazans cannot leave.

Conditions in Gaza are desperate, “unlivable,” warns a recent U.N. report. The protesters in Gaza aren’t breaching a border between nations. They’re trying to break free from their prison.

Margot Patterson