Letters to the Editor

Letter: Please explain

February 7, 2014


To the editor:

Would someone please explain the logic behind a decision that 1) leaves 77,920 (some estimates run as high as 240,000) of the poorest Kansans, including many children, without health insurance, 2) exacerbates emergency-room overcrowding and expense, 3) rejects care that would cost Kansas nothing for three years (now reduced to two), 4) would be 90 percent federally funded thereafter, 5) could presumably be terminated if the federales renege on their promised share, 6) rejects millions of dollars per annum coming into the Kansas economy, 7) which money would support hundreds of jobs in health care, with wide ripple effects and 8) has millions of Kansas tax dollars going to the 20-odd states that value the health care of their citizens above political ideology.

What can our leaders be thinking?  Or do they bother?


Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 3 months ago

The leaders of Kansas were elected by the voters. The real question is, did they vote for candidates that had their best interests in mind? Apparently not.

We are trapped in a two party political system which allows very few other parties to ever win an election, and someone running as an independent has just about no chance.

Political parties were never mentioned in either the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of Kansas. Unless and until we break free of the two party political system, things will remain pretty much the same.

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Kansas tax dollars are not going to other states. Kansas receives back the tax dollars it sends to the federal government.

Our state made the right decision.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 3 months ago

"Kansas receives back the tax dollars it sends to the federal government."

Apparently not exactly. It appears as though Kansas might receive more money from the federal government than it pays, or it might receive less. But exactly how much more or less is a complex question.

According to:

Kansas receives back $1.12 for each dollar paid to the federal government. The range is $0.61 for New Jersey to $2.03 for New Mexico.

That site presents a rather simple set of statistics, comparing the federal tax payments per state, compared with each state's federal tax allotments.

And, according to a possibly questionable source:

The federal revenue from Kansas is (in millions) $21,905, and the expenditure is $15,542. Thus, the federal government collects $6,362 (According to my calculation, it should be 6,363, but rounding or truncation may account for that discrepancy.) more than it spends in Kansas.

That would mean that Kansas receives $0.7095 back for each dollar sent to the federal government, which very different than the above.

But, there is no doubt that those two sets of statistics are measuring different things. The second statistic includes gross collections of the total federal tax revenue collected by the IRS. The figure includes all individual and corporate income taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and excise taxes. It does not include federal tax revenue data from U.S. Armed Forces personnel stationed overseas, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, and U.S. citizens and legal residents living abroad.

Spending includes all federal outlays consisting of retirement, disability, and other direct payments; grants; procurement; and salaries and wages. Spending does not include interest on the debt and other spending not allocated by the individual states.

Cille King 4 years, 3 months ago

Brock, So you oppose the writer's #8 reason. Are the other 7 reasons of harm to Kansans of no concern to you?

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Cille is not #8 false? Kansas receives more federal dollars than it pays in.

As to your question. I do want people to have access to affordable health care but our country is broke and it is not the role of the federal government to provide it. Yes, I know they do already, but doesn't make it right.

Cut the spending on unnecessary wars, useless grants, wasteful defense spending and free up funds without increasing our debt or taxes and I might be inclined to ignore the fact that it isn't the federal governments role to force others to pay for the health insurance of others.

Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

With that logic, people without children should not be forced to pay taxes for public schools, from which they do not personally benefit. And people who choose not to attend public univiversities in Kansas should not be forced to pay taxes to fund our state universities, or for that matter, any other governmental program from which they do not personally benefit. Sorry, Brock, but that's not the America way.

We are all in this together, like it or not.

History has shown that poor hungry people will do whatever is necessary to eat. With your logic, the $80 billion food stamp program should be shut down. How long do you think those folks will remain passive before their hunger pains compel them to do whatever it is necessary to survive.

Did you realize that you have the freedom to relocate to one of many couries with little to no social programs for the needy. .Of course, you'll need sufficient money to hire a bodyguard and build a tall wall around your property, if you expect to have the same standard of living that many Americans take for granted.

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

No Bob it isn't the Ameican way. Taxes should be collected and used only for the public good. The public good meaning funding things that benefit everyone or at least everyone has the opportunity to benefit from it. For example roads. Not everyone will use them but everyone can use them. Same with schools. Everyone has the opportunity to use them.

Not everyone can participate in the ACA subsidy program hence Bob, it isn't a public good. It is an individual benefit. The government is taking my money and not using it for a public good, but giving to another individual. This isn't the American way under the Constitution it is a bastardized version that has only some contributing to our society.

I am happy we did not expand medicaid. And yes I would shut down the food stamp program as it is designed today. I'd open govt food banks where the poor could go to get food and it be open to anyone that needs it. Thus it would be a public good.

And as far as your threat of violence ....well gosh dang I am scared now.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 3 months ago

I would certainly agree with shutting down the food stamp program as it exists now, but instead of forcing poor people to travel that they might not be able to afford, I would instead want to have a box of food products delivered directly to their homes once a month or so.

The food would need to be carefully selected for nutrition, and items such as potato chips would never be included. Vouchers that could be redeemed at any grocery store for perishable items such as milk would be need to be included in the box.

Since a a lot of fraud would be eliminated and a huge amount of food products would be purchased by the government on a bid basis, a lot more food could be delivered to the people that need it for the same amount of government expenditure.

Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

The money Brownback turned down is simply lost. It doesn't lower the federal tax of Kansans, nor is it replaced with funding for other ventures. Its really absurd when you think that it would ultimately have cost Kansas taxpayers very little, but would have pumped millions and millions of dollars into the state, with the added benefit of better health care services for the less fortunate.

And of course, most of the folks who lost out on medicare will still seek medical care in Kansas emergency rooms. And it ain't free, but results in higher costs to those who are able to afford insurance.

Any claimed principles invovled in refusing federal money comes with the expense expense of denying health care to the most vulnerable persons in our state.

I think it is shameful.

Larry Sturm 4 years, 3 months ago

Our government leaders take their orders from the Koch brothers. BROWNBACK BAD FOR KANSAS.

Gerald Kerr 4 years, 3 months ago

If only we still had Kathleen Sebelius to help us sort things out. Why she would always do the right thing and never deceive us. She is a great innovative manager too.

I'd much rather freely follow the Koch brothers recommendations than be chained to the serial lies of this President and his know nothing Cabinet. What liars they have proven to be. What awesome power we have given them in trust. Oh, how they have deceived us.

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Koch bros. employee hundred of thousand people with good paying job, pay millions in taxes, give millions to charity and spend their money fighting for their political beliefs.

Obama never created a job, has lied to the American people, kills innocents with drones and hired a Canadian company to build a non-functioning website.

Yep, I see why people hate the Kochs and love Obama (yes, I am being sarcastic).

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Does it show them killing innocents with drones? If not I am not interested.

Beator 4 years, 3 months ago

This sounds like a phony scandal with not even a smidgen of corruption.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

Wait a minute. Barack Obama and the Dems fixed the "no health insurance" thing. I think it's called the ACA.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

I have this insurance. I've paid two premiums already. I used to have to work two and three jobs to pay for my health insurance through United Healthcare as everyone looked the other way as premiums skyrocketed and people with minor pre existing conditions were excluded which is why I had to roll the dice of risk for two or more years. I am not a taker. I'm a full time worker with over fifteen years experience. I now pay half of what I used to pay for myself for two people. I wish I could stick my head in the sand and yell travesty at something I didn't support and don't benefit from anyway. Too many armchair quarterbacks that judge others and probably don't function in the real world as I have with one family member receiving a million dollar liver plant from an auto-immune disease problem and another family member with at leas $40k in medical debt from mylogenic chronic Leukemia whose under 40 with a family and a mortgage to pay and worked themselves nearly to death to pay these obligations. I should get on here and just complain in a generalized manner. What are specifics anyway?

Kevin Enos 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Masters and Mr. Kerr would rather hand over the reigns of power to two unelected billionaires just because they promise everyone the moon(?) So how would you reign the Kochs and their ilk in when they inevitably start abusing their power or if and when your self interest and their self interest no longer coincide. I hear the Tea Party righties throwing around terms like "tyrant" and "dictator" all the time but it's obvious that they have no real idea of what they mean. Just because Obama has enacted certain legislation that you don't agree with does not make him a dictator. If that were the criteria for dictatorship then every American president since the beginning would have been a tyrant. One of the most critical and often overlooked aspects that define a dictator is the inability of those not in power to remove him/her from office by any means. We have that means here and it's called an election. Who would you elect to replace the Koch boys when they inevitably start abusing the power that you would award them?

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