Moderate (George Lippencott)

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Comment history

Kansas Supreme Court strikes down block grant school funding law

We are arguing over a word in our constitution. The courts do get to determine its meaning but for most of our history they did not intervene in the political process of how much is enough. School funding aside there is a serious constitutional issue here.

If the courts can decide how much we should tax ourselves to support our schools where does that power stop. Will they next determining how much is enough for social services? How about roads? Will we need a legislature if the courts are to decide all funding issues??

The people do in fact determine how much in the way of common resources are committed to whatever purpose we set out to address. We do that by electing legislators. Key concept is elected - responsible to all of us.

Having nine un-elected judges chosen by an elitist process set my tax rate is among the less democratic notions I can imagine

Now if they confine themselves to equity among school districts they are being consistent with many of our sister states. That would be a good thing.

If they continue along a path to set the absolute amount we spend on education (half our state budget) then it may be worth a knock down constitutional battle to restore the balance between the branches of our state government!

February 13, 2016 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Frightening thought

You know it is not either/or!! There are wide vaiations across our sister states in how the judiciary is selected.

In some they are elected directly.
In some they are appointed by the elected executive.
In some they are appointed subject to elected legislative agreement.
In some a panel is added to the appointment process to make sure the anointed one meets a set of criteria.(insure quality)
In Kansas (and a few other states) a small group of un-elected attorneys have a very significant impact on the choice.

Seems to me we can reduce the elitism inherent in our system without losing the quality we so desire.

February 13, 2016 at 1:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: U.S. politics takes surreal turn

Well written sir. Time for another stiff scotch! Anybody think there is any hope of digging out of this hole?

February 9, 2016 at 11:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: U.S. politics takes surreal turn

You are so right. The big corporations pass on the costs of all the regulations while they find ways around them. The consumers, us, get hammered by both. We need a more enlightened way of controlling excess by all segments of our society.

February 9, 2016 at 11:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Rising costs

Noted.

Same argument over and over
We pay for what we get. In comparison to most countries we offer a very broad scope of medical care. We also provide that care broadly. Yes, there are people here who do not get what they should. That said we would have to sort how much of the shortfall is the result of actions/inactions of the patient. Multiple rehabs add cost and is not an option in some of the other nations.

Yes, the OECD report says we are the most expensive among those who it measured (mostly single payer systems). What I continue to argue is that different systems offer different care to different segments of their populations. Some third world countries offer very little resulting in a low cost per gdp. You continue to compare apples and mustangs.

Cost in not the only factor. Quality, availability and the like count. While the OECD report deals with those to some degree it does not factor the difference into the cost elements. Arguing to the contrary is disingenuous. If you are going to use costs as a comparative (or as in your case the key argument) you must represent how the data presented addresses difference in quality, availability, equity, geography, etc., etc.

Last time I looked it was about 70% whose care is through their employer (including me). We got there in MHO because of the ridiculous tax rates we charged at the time this inefficient system became embedded. Now the transition will face a significant challenge which you just gloss over.

You are the advocate. It is incumbent on you to convince the rest of us that we would not lose ground and not have to pay more. You have asserted that but your support for the assertion is sorely lacking. You have only provided options to address funding but have neither costed those options nor explained how we get there from here. You have nor addressed actual care leaving it to the reader to assume the level will not decrease.

Absolutely, for me it is the devil I know over the devil I do not know. At least if you are going to argue for a single payer system you should not misrepresent data in order to make a general case. The OECD report does not make your case for the very reasons I have written and that you have avoided addressing except with misrepresentation.

The majority of us are still very suspicious of a single payer system. I might note that the continuing cost uncertainty in Obama care does not help your case.

February 1, 2016 at 2:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas to consider tightening limits on local property taxes

Your interpretation is absurd. We could raise our taxes anytime we wanted to do so only our lawgivers would have to vote to do so. How dense can someone be???

I'll quit when you stop posting stupidity like the above.

You certainly are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts!!!!!

January 30, 2016 at 8:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Rising costs

Noted

The OECD report does not say what you say it says!

cost is not the only metric ffor determining health care. Quality, Availability, equity and so on matter immensely

How the system is configured has an immense impact on whether one supports it or not. How could it be otherwise.

Since a hefty percentage of us have reasonable health care changing it to an unknown with unknown means of funding certainly leads to legitimate reluctance to go where nobody has gone before (whatever system you produce from your infinite liist)

Essentially your argument is that any form of national care is better than what we have. By no means have you supported that nor dos the OECD report support that! In effect all it says is the broader the health care offered the more costly it will likely be!

Just exactly why would I want to pay more tax to get less health care.?? Seems to me you are spouting the old Democratic Party mantra that whatever is good we should have regardless of the cost (and who pays it) Followed by it is an honor to pay more taxes so somebody else gets something you may not in fact have.

January 30, 2016 at 7:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas to consider tightening limits on local property taxes

Barb Gordon: Judge, Jury and Executioner. Wow!!! I sure hope people like you never get real power. Oops, you already have it. I am not going to continue a mud fight. where everything you write is wholesome and accurate and everything I write or that you infer I wrote is evil and distorted. No win.

As far as you last paragraph it reflects your total lack of understanding of what I thought we are discussing. The legislative proposal (that is all it is) would not put the state in any position to veto our vote. It would simply require a vote in order to raise local property taxes.

I too have voted to raise my taxes. The raises I object to are the ones that result from presumed property valuation increases that simply deliver more tax money without anybody voting for anything.

In our case we paid thousand of dollars in taxes on hypothetical valuation increases that in retrospect never happened. I want my money back!!??

January 27, 2016 at 5:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Rising costs

(continued) In fact, I have had to guess at exactly what you mean by national health care. Is it totally government with all required to accept the same level of care? Is it like Obama Care where the government uses the insurance industry to provide the financial path to services that are determined by the government and cost shared between the individual and the government? Is it some hybrid? Do the rich continue to get care outside the system??

It is difficult to debate an amorous concept using metrics chosen by the advocates. As I wrote, I opt out. If the polls are accurate on this topic I am not alone

January 27, 2016 at 5:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Rising costs

This is what I wrote that started this discussion:

"Single payer can be made to work. It can be made to deliver whatever quality of health care we desire. The variable is cost.

In a system where half the people pay all the government operating expenses. I assume Medicare, Medicaid, etc. go away and are folded into the single system) means you have at least half the people opposing the concept not because it will not work but because the quality of their care will decline and they will pay even more than they do now. There is no free lunch.

Worse, health care will be even more dictated by politics. So when people who want lower taxes recapture the government funding for health care will be cut (see National Health Service). Do you really want health care determined by political loyalty?

As to Canada just consider the size of the country. Our system is many times theirs. Does theirs scale?? Don't think so.

Single payer will lead to many winners and losers. Perhaps the advocates should consider a way to minimize the losers as they search for the holy grail!!??"

You still seem to want to ignore my comments and keep selling your own. I repeat I don't know whether we are the most expensive. I do know that all sorts of surveys reflect that we want what we have (except for costs). Is $/GDP the right metric? That has been my argument as we demand many things that are in our numerator that are not in the numerators of other countries.

I don't buy your entire approach as it is cost based and avoids quality and choice. I am not going to debate quality with you as I am not qualified. However, that should be a broader debate then just the academic community defining metrics that are as slippery as the one you have chosen to sell the concept

The bottom line is that you want half the people to accept higher costs for possibly lesser care. If I could convenience myself that national health care would continue to delivered the care (quality/availability/etc.) I am used to receiving (or better) while the costs would not escalate to the point where my quality of life suffers than maybe.

Until then the burden is on you to make a convincing argument. In this case you have chosen costs and asserted that a national health care system would be cheaper by using comparison with other nations who offer a very different level of care and in some cases a very basic level of service.

January 27, 2016 at 5:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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