Letters to the Editor

Obamacare pluses, social media policies, bankruptcy shield

Obamacare pluses

There may be legitimate objections to the Affordable Care Act, but the inability to choose who and where you get your health care is not something new.

For years, most insurance companies have allowed you to select health care providers, hospitals, specialists, etc., from an approved list of “in network” providers. Should you stray from that list, you foot more of the bill.

Premiums increase every year, employers change insurance companies, yada, yada, yada. What is so great about the old system that leaves millions at the emergency-room door with no means to pay?

The Affordable Care Act is not going to end life as we know it. Calm down.

Linda Christian Greenwood Social media policy Open letter to the Kansas Board of Regents:

As University Distinguished Professors at Kansas State University, we write to call for the immediate repeal of the new social-media policy and to ask that you instead work together with elected faculty representatives and administration to craft a social-media policy that best serves the interests of Kansas universities, their faculty, staff and students.

By revoking the faculty and staff’s right to freedom of speech, the new social-media policy is an affront to academic freedom and academic excellence. Furthermore, it undermines Kansas State University’s 2025 plan by driving away both potential hires and current faculty.

Social media covered by the new policy include cutting-edge venues valued for the dissemination of research, scholarly and creative activity, and development. The free and open exchange of ideas is essential to fulfilling the mission of any university. As a group recognized for our contributions to and support of the essential research work of our university, we look forward to your response.

Philip Nel and Elizabeth Dodd Manhattan, Kan.
Joined by 38 other University Distinguished Professors Bankruptcy shield

If the Kansas City Public Schools system wishes to remain the master of its own future, there’s a stark choice in its future, but one that has proved useful to businesses and individuals: bankruptcy.

Before you think I’m crazy, consider this: The instant the district files Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the automatic stay of bankruptcy takes effect and prevents all state court rulings from going into effect. The district should give this idea serious thought before it becomes cash-strapped because of transfers.

If school officials wait, they won’t be able to control the agenda before the federal bankruptcy court; their creditors will. As long as the district continues paying its bills in Chapter 9 bankruptcy, it can reorganize its management structures, it can adjust its tax base with greater efficacy and it can (most important) get the state off its back long enough to prove that its current score toward provisional education is more than a fluke.

There’s no reason a federal bankruptcy judge couldn’t command the state to award provisional accreditation as part of any Chapter 9 reorganization. When the district emerges from bankruptcy, it would be a leaner and smarter district with a brighter future without the terrible burdens.

James E. Whedbee Adjunct Instructor of Education Park University (online) Gladstone Failure of state

Apparently, the folks in Jefferson City are so bad at math that they don’t recognize improvement in a school district when they see it (12-20, A4, “Groups call on state to pull plug on school study”).

Ken Hedden Parkville GOP cuts hurt poor

Republicans are pushing to cut help for the needy in the budget negotiations.

Jesus said, “As you do it to the least of these, you do it also to me.” Is it Christian for Republicans to vote against food stamps, unemployment benefits, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, student loans, job-creation bills, veterans benefits and Social Security raises? The same Christian Republicans insist on government subsidies for wealthy corporations.

Most people would rather help those in need than give millions of dollars to the large oil companies and corporate agriculture.

Bev Stephens Belton Cellphones on planes

I have not been in an airport or on an airplane in years and do not want to be in either ever again. However, for those poor unfortunate souls who find such torture necessary, I hope this assault of cellphones upon their sanity does not come to pass.

If it does, I have a suggestion for the airlines dumb enough to permit cellphone use: Divide the cabin into quiet and cellphone-permitted areas by installing a division like that between first class and coach.

I’ll leave it to others to determine the percentage of seats on each side of the divide, which should be made of a sound-deadening material.

A tip from riding in East Coast commuter trains: The quiet cars fill up much faster than the noise-filled car does.

Henry Tharp Kansas City Focus on KC teams

There are two topics in sports that make me sick.

First, I find the words “Penn State” very distasteful.

The child sexual molestation that occurred there under assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the lack of leadership by Joe Paterno are a national disgrace. I don’t want to read anything at all about Penn State.

Second, the University of Missouri football team also is a disgrace. Missouri’s head football coach is an admitted admirer of Joe Paterno.

Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC. Show MU SEC money, and the players, students and fans of MU really no longer matter. SEC travel schedules are ridiculous.

The Star should focus on teams that care about Kansas City, like the Royals, Chiefs and University of Kansas. Let’s forget about the absolute disgrace of Penn State and the University of Missouri, and let’s focus on Kansas City’s own.

Frank J. Smist Jr. Prairie Village No Republican plan

Most Republicans are united against Obamacare. So what is their alternative? Obamacare.

Obamacare was the Republican answer to the Clintons’ universal health care. Obamacare had been Romneycare in Massachusetts. And Romneycare became Obamacare to close the circle.

So, if Obamacare is the Republican plan and they are against their own idea, what’s the new Republican idea?

We could just employ what we had before, which was that only healthy people could buy health insurance. Even then, it was too expensive for most middle- and low-income Americans.

So, millions of people went without health insurance. When they got sick, they didn’t get treated, and their prognoses got worse.

They finally went to emergency rooms. They couldn’t pay, and their costs were passed on to the rest of us.

This drove up the cost of our own insurance.

That is the system we had before Obamacre.

John Chapman Gladstone ‘Duck Dynasty’ flap

I’m getting really tired of hearing and reading news stories in which some celebrity has been fired or suspended over expressing a personal belief.

Fans want to know more about them, but I guess we have to be selective about this. Cross out anything you think might be offensive, and we’re left with very little to talk about.

Phil Robertson did not commit a federal crime, but he did commit a societal crime. Our PC laws dictate that you can’t say anything to offend anyone or you’re in trouble.

Shame on you, A You buckled, you caved. Why not stand by your statement that Mr. Robertson’s personal beliefs do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of your company, and let him stay on the show?

If someone is offended, that person can change the channel. Oh, no, but that’s not right.

You have to kneel to the privileged few who wrote letters and do what they want. Meanwhile, those of us who just don’t care what he said scramble to mind our p’s and q’s so we don’t get crucified, too.

Megan Travelstead Riverside