Letters to the Editor

SRS obstacles

July 10, 2011


To the editor:

I hope someday the governor reads this letter. Maybe God will give him the guidance to not close the doors to the Lawrence SRS office. I am handicapped and disabled. I have survived six strokes, an acute myocardial infarct, a rare blood disease and glaucoma. Like so many unfortunate people living in this great city of Lawrence, the local SRS office is helping me to survive.

The governor needs to understand how difficult the options are he has left us to use. 1) If you don’t own a computer, then find one. A lot of times, there are Internet issues preventing easy and quick access to your caseworker. Sometimes, email addresses don’t work or the website isn’t user friendly. 2) Good luck reaching a caseworker by telephone and leaving a message and hearing back in a timely manner. The 87 SRS Lawrence workers are very busy and hard working people. 3) The governor says there are four-lane highways for us to travel on. But what good is this if you can’t afford the gas or it’s too much to make the trip physically?

Maybe the governor hopes people in Lawrence like me will just disappear, give up trying and fighting and go ahead and die. As my health continues to decline I am becoming more concerned as to why our governor doesn’t seem to care. Lawrence needs our SRS office reopened! What part of this doesn’t he understand?

He seems like a nice man. But, what will happen to people like me?

God help us.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

How Vermont Enacted Single-Payer Universal Health Care

A talk by Jonathan Kissam of Vermont

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7 pm

Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont

Question & Answer Session/ Refreshments Served

Health Care is a Human Right!

Jonathan Kissam will talk about Vermont’s recently-enacted universal healthcare law, which has made Vermont the first state to move toward a single payer healthcare system. Mr. Kissam will present how the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, a grassroots movement of thousands of Vermonters, made this pioneering legislation possible.

Sponsored by Lawrence Coalition for Peace & Justice, Health Care for All, and others. Come Join Us.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Improved Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All is THE solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you choose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Medical insurance cannot get any better than this:

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL would cover every person for all necessary medical care 24/7 to include:

prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment palliative care long term care

No deductibles No Co-pays

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay approximately $2,700 a year for all health care costs.

Allow IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL to be available now to all taxpaying consumers and let them make the choice. The mechanism is in place as we speak.

Health care in and of itself will remain a private industry.

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All leaves choice of doctors,clinics,hospital and services across the board to the consumer.


Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Merrill.I enjoy your posts.You're like the teacher who puts the Pre-test on the chalkboard and gives us all the places to find the answers.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

The linkbot has woken. Fear his mad copy/paste skills.

Jimo 6 years, 8 months ago

That's the saddest part of this whole fiasco - Brownback doesn't care about the lives destroyed. There's not even a tearful acknowledgment that anyone would suffer from these policies or a pretense that these are merely emergency measures to be reversed the moment that revenues pick up again.

It was possible--pre-election--whatever your political agreements or dis-agreements with Brownback on politics, to believe that somewhere, in the heart of this more Catholic than the Pope convert, in catechism class as he learned point by point the obligations Catholics have for their fellow man, or as he kneeled at the Eucharist to reflect on Christ's own suffering, or as the liturgical calendar rotated through one Gospel passage after another extolling the poor and warning the rich, that Sam Brownback might still insist that his term as Kansan Caesar be a surprise to the wealthy and powerful who bankrolled his campaign and installed him on his throne, that the poor, the needy, the sick, and the oppressed might look to him for some earthly solace, some limited form of corporal justice.

Believe no more. Pontius Pilate has competition.

Jimo 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe some missionaries could travel to Texas next month and try to convert him to Christ?

Jimo 6 years, 8 months ago

I was thinking more along the lines of someone who actually believed Jesus. Jesus was far to namby-pamby for the likes of Phelps (or Brownback for that matter).

JustNoticed 6 years, 8 months ago

He's not really a Christian. He's a Christianist. Big difference. "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" by Jeff Sharlet is very instructive. (sorry Whitney, I can't figure out how to revert to no picture at all)

mr_right_wing 6 years, 8 months ago

Right now Kansas Medicaid has a program in which, if you need medical treatment over in Kansas City and you live in Salina, they'll send a taxi (they contract with) to take you to and from that appointment...at taxpayer expense (no money directly out of the riders pocket.) This program is available to any Medicaid recepient anywhere in the state.

Surely they could now do the same thing for client reviews, etc. Send a cab to take you to and back from the Topeka or KC SRS office. (I have serious doubts about the cost-effectiveness of that.)

Anne Tangeman 6 years, 8 months ago

I just emailed her letter to the governor, and you can too - right at the end of the article hit the 'email to a friend' button and send it along to:


You can also add your own message at the bottom. Maybe if we all send him a copy he'll actually read it. It's about as close as I suspect he's going to get to getting feedback from SRS clients.

WLHS 6 years, 8 months ago

@Kathleen...I know for sure that it is SRS policy in some offices for caseworkers to be unreachable. You have to leave messages and wait for a return call. Often when I worked at SRS citizens would call me to get in touch with their caseworkers... I was not a caseworker. My thoughts are that the governor doesn't care whether you live or die, and you can tell that by his actions. Why use a hatchet to save a buck when a scalpel will do the same job, but may take thought and expertise? You don't care is why.

Shame on you governor, for shutting down SRS offices, while at the same time hiring a private law firm to defend you with taxpayer money...you are a disgrace.

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