Taxpayers get tab
I would like to present a couple of questions to all senators and members of Congress.
Do any of you have to purchase supplemental health insurance to pay what the 80 percent does not cover? How much deductible do you have to pay?
Oh, wait, I forgot that the taxpayers, who are faced with these issues, are paying your insurance cost.
We wouldn’t want you to dip into your exorbitant salaries to pay for insurance.
Ronnie A. Sturdevant
Piano’s political tune
My first reaction to the Feb. 3 article, “Piano strikes bad note,” about the Kansas politicians’ complaints about the $47,000 grand piano for Sumner Academy was, “They wouldn’t bat an eye if the grand piano were for, say, Shawnee Mission or Blue Valley high school music departments.”
My second reaction to the article was, “They wouldn’t bat an eye if the purchase were for a sports-related item for, say, Shawnee Mission or Blue Valley high school athletic departments.”
Stressing test scores
There has been a major push to move our school systems to a test results-driven organization. The Amendment 3 ballot proposal last year was the latest example.
It proposed that we evaluate our educators on students’ test scores, making it more and more likely that students do not learn to understand the material but rather learn to memorize and recite the material.
Being a student, I find it beyond absurd that people who are not educators have proposed to fire educators because of test scores. It must be asked whether we want our next generation to be able to think and understand or just throw up memorized information.
Beating the Constitution to tatters over illegal immigration is an exercise in futility when the actual problem is overpopulation. One busload or one silent footfall after another over our unprotected southern border have created a mass movement of population for decades.
Taking any part of this situation into court or a government agency is ridiculous.
William H. Finnegan
City Hall problems
What makes officials at City Hall think they have so much money to throw around?
Last year there was a $6 million settlement. Plus taxpayers have to shoulder $1 million in annual debt service for bonds issued for the project at the center of that settlement at least until 2021. This is coming out of a capital improvement tax.
Didn’t we citizens earlier pay millions of dollars for other problems at City Hall? We taxpayers make up for the losses at the Power & Light District.
What is going on at City Hall? We have poor bus service but spend millions of dollars a mile for a streetcar to nowhere.
Maybe the next time a tax increase is on the ballot city officials will call it a lawsuit excise tax that will never expire.
Not all Medicare supplement insurance companies require copayments because they are not affiliated with Medicare Part C, which came into effect in the mid-1990s. Many of the companies that are affiliated with Medicare Part C were created when HMOs and PPOs were initiated.
As far as pre-existing conditions are concerned, they did not prevent us from getting Medicare supplemental insurance.
Regarding claims that medical-care providers are mainly interested in profits, has anyone thought about their expenses involved in the equipment and materials required to tend to their patients’ needs, their office staff, employee benefits and their need to keep current with all the regulations related to medical care?
Putin’s bad habits
President Barack Obama should discontinue trips to international conferences where he encounters Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama is learning too many dirty tricks from his Russian counterpart and mentor.
The only line President Barack Obama will ever lead is into his own presidential library.
It seems like a day doesn’t go by that a liberal doesn’t complain about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. To the complainers: “Get over it. You lost.”
TV news criticism
I could write pages criticizing local TV news stations, their anchors and their speech patterns.
Their anchors and reporters sometimes can’t put together two coherent sentences without countless redundancies when reporting on breaking news stories.
They abuse the language (“busted into” instead of “broke into”). But a phrase that is really annoying is, “We’ll have new data just coming in when we’re back in five minutes.”
Odor of money
No matter how much money is spent by the banking industry in trying to make U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder smell like a rose for future elections, we should never forget the fishy smell of Yoder’s insertion of a reportedly banking industry-written amendment to the recent spending bill that favors big banks over the protection of our economy and the well-being of our families.
Gun safety vs. control
I think there is a way to make a dent in the anti-gun-control mindset.
Do all responsible hunters and gun enthusiasts believe our government is trying to take away our guns and put us in Federal Emergency Management Agency work camps? Many do.
How has this myth grown so pervasive? Let’s talk about the power of one word.
What if we begin referring to all news regarding gun control issues and legislation with a less pejorative word? Let’s make it gun safety. This could prevent some of the knee-jerk reactions to any suggestions offered and encourage more thoughtful citizens to think about solutions to gun violence.
I don’t know whether changing one word would work, but take a look at what happened to the Affordable Care Act when it became the “dreaded” Obamacare and what happened to the stimulus when it became the “failed” stimulus.
I say lead the way by using the term gun safety. With gun violence out of control in our neighborhoods, it’s a start.
I for one am proud to say I am joining the gun safety crowd.
Star film reviews
What a wonderful surprise to open The Kansas City Star and find Robert Butler again writing a movie review. I had missed him greatly and assumed his absence was because of illness, retirement or downsizing.
So I am delighted to read him again and hope this is permanent.
Concerns for future
I am deeply saddened by the direction our country is headed and what we are leaving to our grandchildren.
Service to consumers is a low priority. Automated calls leave messages that you can’t respond to, with long waits on the phone to reach a real person. And when you finally do, you can’t understand the accent.
The typical response when calling a business is, “Due to the unexpectedly high volume of calls there is a 10-minute wait (or more).” The only thing that seems to matter today is the bottom line as opposed to the client being the priority.
Things are built today to have a short life and a quick turnover. Businesses are not satisfied with a reasonable profit. It has to be huge.
A recent generic drug that cost $11 a year ago increased to $434. Another antibiotic that cost $20 for 500 pills a few months ago shot up to $1,849. How can that be justified?
Some chief executives in health care are making more than $100 million a year. Where will this stop?