Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on Obamacare, police and Union Station

Sting of Obamacare

My wife received a courtesy advance notice that her individual 2015 monthly health-insurance premium would be changing from $187 to $521. When questioned, our broker said this was because of Obamacare.

We are in our 60s, both in good health and very happy with our insurance policy. I am retired, my wife looking for work, and we’re living on mostly fixed income.

So this extra $4,000 per year must come from our monthly fixed income, thus lowering our standard of living, or we must draw down our retirement savings to cover it and hope to die a little earlier than planned.

Thanks, Obamacare.

Len Holthaus

Lee’s Summit

Obamacare haze

The smoking gun has been found. What we already knew — that the Affordable Care Act was a lie — is accurate. A 51-minute video from a 2013 conference in Pennsylvania demonstrates the duplicity involved in the passage of Obamacare.

Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of the law, states clearly that the lie about taxes being “penalties,” the one that went to the Supreme Court for a decision, was fully intentional. It was also thought by the law’s designers that the American voters were too stupid to allow passage if they knew that healthy people were paying for sick people. Thus, the writers obscured the language.

Gruber goes on to say the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” What he means is that lying is an effective tool.

Paul Krugman in a recent column says this was simply sloppy. Now we know one of two things. Either Krugman didn’t get the memo or he is continuing to perpetuate the lie that is Obamacare.

Stephen Ragan

Olathe

Police safety

I am very disappointed in The Kansas City Star’s placement of the article of the two brutally executed New York police officers (12-21, A12, “Shooter kills 2 NY police”). This should have been front-page news.

With publications, media and some politicians pressing for justice for young black men, the media are overlooking the safety of our men and women in blue, who put their lives on the line for us every day.

I once lived in the inner city in public housing. I know firsthand being fearful of where I lived and the crime around me. Break-ins were constant, cars stolen, rape and murder. My safety was just a phone call away.

This divisiveness in the media has to stop by people such as Al Sharpton. Let’s deal with each injustice individually and keep things in perspective.

Without the police department, there would be anarchy in the streets. Appreciate your police department. I do.

Kathleen Moorman

Leawood

Bypassing workers

I am 59. Although I am now working full time (thankfully) with great folks, it comes after 18 months of part-time employment.

During that time, I applied for more than a hundred work opportunities. In return, I received three interviews, five phone calls and one job offer, which I accepted.

Without being a legend in my own mind, I am an experienced, intelligent, well-educated, well-read, well-mannered person with many years of developing millions of dollars of business all over the U.S. and in other parts of the globe. Yet, so many of those seeking talented, successful, income-producing team members cannot bring themselves to respond to those of us who can help them succeed.

Not a letter, or a note, or an email, or even a phone call.

This is not my problem. This is their problem.

Those employers who wail that “they can’t find anyone” do not seem to be paying attention. When shopping for diamonds, one learns that one can buy perfection. However, it will be expensive and rare.

If a candidate meets all requirements but is only 5 feet 8 inches tall and you were hoping for 5-foot-9, who, exactly, is missing the opportunity?

Stephen Van de Castle

Leawood

Brownback’s fiasco

Kansas will collect $1 billion less in revenue in 2015 and 2016 than its projected expenses, following massive income tax cuts signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s have cut the state’s bond rating. A panel of fiscal experts says that without additional tax revenues, the state will burn through all its reserves and still face a $280 million shortfall by June 30, 2015.

All of which puts funding for education, highways, Medicaid and other vital services on the chopping block for deeper and disastrous cuts.

As Gov. Brownback’s supporters attempt to put a positive spin on this fiscal fiasco, they seem to be channeling Republican President George W. Bush as he stood among the ruins of Hurricane Katrina and told his Federal Emergency Management Agency chief, “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.”

Or as former Alaskan Republican Gov. Sarah Palin might say, “How’s that economic growth stimulation thingy workin’ for ya, Sam?”

Ron Fugate

Overland Park

Fixing immigration

The recent political kerfuffle over immigration and executive orders and congressional action is disappointingly overshadowing the fact that immigration affairs are at a critical point. The situation where so many are living, working and attending school without documentation makes us a weaker country.

Please join in supporting your congressman to begin addressing the problem. In spite of the distasteful tactics used by “the other party” to control or frustrate action, please remember that helping undocumented children and workers obtain some sort of legal status is, in the long run, desirable.

Doing so will have little economic disturbance because most of the undocumented people are already assimilated and settled into our culture with jobs, schools, friends and churches.

One can argue about rewarding illegal behavior, but sometimes in life and politics, pragmatism over idealism is the best option. Please allow some healthy pragmatism and compromise on this issue.

One last thought. All of Europe would gladly trade our immigration problem for theirs in a heartbeat. These people are, for the most part, pro-America and wish to be part of a solution that is good for all.

Brent A Heid

Harrisonville

U.S. exit from Iraq

I don’t get it. We lament our tragic human losses in Iraq, yet many feel we should have kept more troops there, which surely would have led to more U.S. troop deaths.

We (erroneously) invaded Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. We did not invade for the U.S. to gain or hold territory.

For Iraq to lose control of parts of its land now is not linked to the brave effort of our troops. Nothing related to our original military objective is being undone.

Jack Mayer

Mission

Made in U.S., really?

What gives? I bought some 1.5-volt alkaline batteries from a drugstore, and they were clearly marked “Made in USA.” On the inside of the package, the batteries were marked, “Made in China.” Also clearly marked.

Does packaging for distribution qualify as made in the United States? I would like a clear choice on what I am buying without having to peek into the package.

I would buy American if I had a choice.

It seems there is plenty that members of Congress could do if they wanted to. Shutting down the government is not a solution.

No wonder we feel so detached.

Edson Parker

Overland Park

Union Station lure

Recently, I was privileged to spend time with family members at Union Station. I had been there before, but again I was amazed by the grandeur of this building, now attired in Christmas splendor, celebrating 100 years.

Families were strolling and snapping pictures.

Because I’m older, I thought of the millions who had passed through Union Station. That included loved ones saying goodbye to their soldiers, some never to return.

Kansas City can be proud of this magnificent building.

Shirley Barnett

Kingsville, Mo.

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