Toriano Porter

Letters: Readers discuss the Community Health Center Fund, school shootings and gaslighting

Don’t play around

Congress eventually passed the bill to extend funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, after almost four months of delay. It was a definite assault on our most innocent, vulnerable and deserving population, who were reduced to convenient tools for political leverage.

The Community Health Center Fund, or CHCF, which funds about 70 percent of federally qualified health centers in Kansas City — Samuel U. Rodgers Center, Kansas City CARE Clinic, Swope Health Services and others — is another community safety-net program now left in a limbo.

The CHCF was designed to reduce health care disparities that affect racial and ethnic minority groups, the poor and the uninsured. It offers preventative and primary care services for patients with chronic conditions on an outpatient basis. This reduces emergency-room visits and overall health costs.

Funding for CHCF expired Sept. 30, and many centers are set to run out of funds by the end of February. Despite long enjoying bipartisan support, the bill has made no progress in Congress. It seems headed to be another political bargaining chip.

Rodgers Langat

Kansas City

A national issue

There is a solution to the slaughter occurring in our schools. I suggest that Kansas Citians contact Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and request they get a bill on the House and Senate floors to make any school shooting a federal crime. The federal government funds schools. Let the FBI investigate and make arrests.

The bill should include a mandatory sentence of 45 years if no one dies and a mandatory life sentence if someone is killed. No plea deals on school shootings.

At this time, there is no point in even talking about gun control because of the NRA, the Republicans and the gun nuts, but we do need to stop this slaughter.

This can be stopped so that kids are safe — and it doesn’t involve arming teachers, which is a very stupid idea.

The families of those murdered don’t need prayers. Those families need justice.

Donna Cox

Kansas City

Mothballed KCI?

I made a quick day trip to Chicago on Wednesday and flew in and out of Terminal C at Kansas City International Airport. The parking garage elevator in Tower 1 wasn’t working in the morning, and there was no signage indicating it was out of order.

When I returned late that night, I tried the elevator again, with the same result and still no “out of order” sign. Another passenger waiting with me said this same elevator hadn’t been working when she departed on Monday.

I understand city officials are focused on building a new airport. But in the meantime, are they just going to let the existing one fall apart without even bothering to notify passengers that something is broken?

Carole Damon

Kansas City

States’ rights

There is much hay being harvested about so-called sanctuary cities by those on the right. But their party, the GOP, had a completely different line after passage of the civil rights laws of the 1960s.

Many Republicans deferred to the states when it came to the law and segregation. Even President Richard Nixon, when asked about this, said the issue really was about states’ rights.

Funny how so many have forgotten the GOP’s own encouragement of state law and tradition trumping federal statutes.

Michal Betz


What nonsense

It seems our country has lost all common sense in dealing with our problems — all black and white, no gray.

All Dreamers who are here working, going to school and being productive citizens should be able to continue their lives here. If they have ever committed a crime, used or sold drugs, been arrested or taken welfare because they refuse to work, they should be on the next plane out.

Also, how many people do you know who work in minimum-wage jobs and sometimes quit because they are losing their food stamps when they are going over the limit they’re allowed to earn? It makes no sense.

Shirley Stucky



George F. Will’s Friday column, “Studying how we are losing our dual senses of truth, trust,” (13A) was interesting but left out the deliberate effort to sow distrust of our institutions, in my opinion.

It points out that we no longer can determine fact from opinion, but it does not include intentional lies. The concept of gaslighting — influencing people to question their own perception of what they experience — intentionally adds lies to the cacophony. These lies are targeted to specific social strata, identified in the research described by Will.

This cost us our democracy in 2016. Unless we overcome polarization and address our social psychology with truth, justice and the American way, the gaslighters will become more effective in 2018 and 2019 … and by 2020, it will be too late.

Donovan Dean

Jefferson City