FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN
A4 ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE
FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM
TUESDAY OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE
AUG. 11, 2009 PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION
THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.
iven the perpetually increas-
ing costs of health care
and all the interconnected
industries, there really isn’t much
argument against reform. It’s been
talked about for years, if not decades,
with plenty of ﬁnger-pointing at
primary players such as pharmaceu-
tical companies, doctors, Medicare
and Medicaid, insurance companies,
hospitals, malpractice attorneys,
regulators of all stripes, Congress
and patients themselves.
The issue is complex, to say the least. So
complex, in fact, a substantive plan deemed
worthy of debate by Congress did not surface
until this year.
No one going hog wild over this tax credit
Unfortunately, many of the arguments
surrounding President Barack Obama’s health
care proposal have little to do with the speciﬁc
merits of the plan. Instead, controversy keeps
erupting regarding somebody’s interpretation
of the plan, or what somebody else believes
the plan says, or what yet somebody else said
they heard from somebody who said they read
in the plan that will ruin our country.
W hat if you gave a party and nobody
Or, this being the Statehouse, what if you
ments required by law to a qualiﬁed swine
production facility. Now, you’d think if you
were raising hogs for a living and wanted
your own land and get a tax credit for it.
Environmentalists ought to love it. Well,
We know, we get the e-mails just like every- gave a tax credit and nobody used it? ? to make sure that you are up-to-date The state hasn’t paid out any money
body else. This monumental and necessary Both involve probably good n
and environmentally responsible, this or cut anyone’s tax bill under provisions
attempt to rein in skyrocketing costs has be- intentions, but it’s got to be a little d
would be a good deal. Do what’s right of that law that at one time sounded like
come a classic war of disinformation. Here’s embarrassing. What sounded like a g
and get a tax credit for it. Sounds a pretty nice little deal — maybe worth a
one inﬂuential individual’s recent take: good idea to at least one legislator goodd
good, and some legislator must have bullet point on a campaign brochure in
“The America I know and love is not one and which a majority of legislators d
had something in mind when it was Lawrence or Johnson County.
in which my parents or my baby with Down were convinced was a good idea, the p
proposed and later passed. No Now, there are dozens of tax credits that
Syndrome will have to stand in front of governor concurring therein, just takers. Not one dime has been are used by Kansans ranging from invest-
Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can didn’t ﬁnd any takers. deducted from anyone’s taxes ment in local seed capital funds to that big-
decide, based on a subjective judgment of Why? Who knows? But at for making those improve- gie, the food sales tax refund for the poor.
their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether
they are worthy of health care. Such a system
some point, certain breaks were
considered to be sound public
At the Rail
H AWVER ments.
And, here’s an envi-
But, you gotta wonder whether some
of those narrow, riﬂe-shooting credits just
is downright evil. policy designed to encourage ronmental deal that on its missed the target, or whether there was
“ ... And we’re saying not just no, but hell Kansas taxpayers to do something that surface sounds like a good idea, but didn’t even a target there to hit.
no!” they probably should have done anyway or go anywhere: It’s an income tax credit for It makes you wonder whether the tax-
The source of this insightful examination would have like to have done if it didn’t cost a property owner whose land is designated cuts-to-encourage-behavior actually do.
of the proposed reform? Former Alaska Gov. so much. as a critical wildlife habitat or who incurs Syndicated by Hawver News Co. of Topeka,
Sarah Palin. Here’s one: Swine Facility Improve- expenses for managing that critical wildlife Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol
With all due respect, such comments will ment Credit. It’s a credit against your habitat area so that its wildlife is protected. Report. To learn more about this statewide po-
not help further reasonable debate of the state income taxes for making improve- Sounds good — help protect wildlife on litical news service, visit www.hawvernews.com
issues. They only will serve to fan the ﬂames
of uninformed outrage already running
Making promises your policies can’t keep
rampant throughout the country. If this is an
example of how the former vice-presidential
candidate plans to change Washington from
the outside, we will be no more the better.
Palin backtracked a little Monday. The lat-
est posting on her Facebook page encourages
civil discourse of the health care overhaul.
She said people should “stick to a discus- I keep reading about health-care “reform,”
but I have yet to see anyone explain how
the government can make it easier for more
costs while boosting demand?
The reformers make vague promises
about covering the increased demand by
borrowing. The Fed will print more money,
and we’ll have more inﬂation. Everyone will
sion of the issues and not get sidetracked
by tactics that can be accused of leading people to obtain medical services, control cutting other costs. We should know by now The Times story adds: “They are com-
to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics the already exploding cost of those services that such promises aren’t worth a wooden mitted to rewarding high-quality care,
diminish our nation’s civil discourse which and not interfere with people’s most inti- nickel. The savings never materialize. by paying for the value, rather than the
we need now more than ever because the ﬁne mate decisions. Some of the savings are sup- volume, of (Medicare) services.”
print in this outrageous health care proposal You don’t need to be a Ph.D. in posed to come from Medicare. Value to whom? When someone buys
must be understood clearly and not get lost in economics to understand that gov- The Times reports “Lawmakers a service in the market, that indicates he
conscientious voters’ passion to want to make ernment cannot do all three things. also agree on proposals to squeeze values it more than what he gives up for it.
elected ofﬁcials hear what we are saying. (Judging by what Paul Krugman writes hundreds of billions of dollars out But when the taxpayers subsidize the buyer,
Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized at tinyurl.com/lgpr4o, a Ph.D. may be of Medicare by reducing the growth the link between beneﬁt and cost is broken.
health care any reason to criticize us.” an obstacle.) of payments to hospitals and many Market discipline disappears.
While we believe she was referring more The New York Times describes a other health care providers.” Listening to the health-care debate, I
speciﬁcally to the latest spate of supposedly key part of the House bill: “Law- With the collapse of the hear Republicans and Democrats saying
spontaneous and grassroots effort of scream- makers of both parties agree socialist countries, we ought it’s wrong to deny anyone anything. That
ing at lawmakers during town meetings, her on the need to rein in private
insurance companies by ban-
Myths and Lies
to understand that bureau-
crats cannot competently set
head-in-the-sand attitude is why Medicare
has a $36-trillion unfunded liability. It’s not
point should be taken. Particularly by herself.
Our hope is that her latest words race ning underwriting practices prices. When they pay too sustainable — and they know it.
around the Internet as much as her “death that have prevented millions of Americans little, costs are covertly shifted to others, or They’ve given us a system that now can
panel” post did. The health care debate is in from obtaining affordable insurance. Insur- services dry up. be saved only if bureaucrats limit cover-
need of educated critique, not mere empty ers would, for example, have to accept all When they pay too much, scarce resourc- age by second-guessing retirees’ decisions.
rhetoric. applicants and could not charge higher es are diverted from other important uses Government will decide which Medicare
Editorial by Patrick Lowry premiums because of a person’s medical and people must go without needed goods. services have value and which do not. Retir-
email@example.com history or current illness.” Only markets can assure that people have ees may have a different opinion.
No more evil “cherry-picking.” No more reasonable access to resources according to One might be willing to give up the last
The editorials represent the institutional voice of
The Hays Daily News but are signed by the author for the “discrimination against the sick. But that’s each individual’s priorities. year of life if he’s in pain and has little hope
reader's information. Guest editorials are from other not insurance. Insurance is the pooling of Assume Medicare reimbursements are for recovery. Another might want to ﬁght to
newspapers and do not necessarily represent the views of resources to cover the cost of a possible but cut. When retirees begin to feel the effects, the end.
The Hays Daily News. Other content on this page represents
the views of the signed columnist, cartoonist or letter-writer.
by no means certain misfortune befalling a AARP will scream bloody murder. The But when taxpayers pay, the state will
given individual. Government-subsidized elderly vote in large numbers, and their make one choice for all retirees.
coverage for people already sick is welfare. powerful lobbyists will be listened to. Now, to reduce the ﬁnancial burden of
Reader Forum Policy We can debate whether this is good, but The government will then give up that the medical system, Obama proposes a
Please limit your submissions to 600 words. They will be
let’s discuss it honestly. Calling welfare strategy and turn to what the Reagan plan that inevitably will extend the second-
edited for length and clarity. They must be signed and “insurance” muddies thinking. administration called “revenue enhance- guessing to the rest of us. So much for his
include a name, address and daytime telephone number. Such “reform” must increase the de- ment”: higher taxes on the “rich.” When promise not to interfere with our medical
We reserve the right not to print a submission. Mail them
to Reader Forum, The Hays Daily News, 507 Main St.,
mand for medical services. That will lead to that fails, because there aren’t enough rich decisions.
Hays, KS 67601. You also can send them by e-mail to higher prices. Obama tells us that reform to soak, the politicians will soak the middle John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC’s “20/20” and
firstname.lastname@example.org. will lower costs. But how do you control class. When that fails, they will turn to more author of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.”
Little resemblance meetings every four years.
We are constantly seeking ways
women’s religious orders to take
back to Rome.
stay healthy and out of emergency
are helping build our workforce as
part of their overall support for the
I am writing in response to to improve the quality of our Sister Alice Ann Pfeifer, C.S.A. About 340,000 Kansans are safety net.
Friday’s article by Associated Press response to Jesus and to his gospel 1703B Henry Drive uninsured. Nationwide, 45.7 mil- This year, the Kansas Legislature
reporter Eric Gorski headlined message. lion people — nearly one in six voted to increase funding for safety
“Catholic sisters queried about
In June, Sister Joann Sambs re-
ported her visit with Mother Mary
Safety net Americans — is without a source
of primary care. But even if all
net clinics, with some of those funds
targeted to workforce development.
It is almost amusing how little Gov. Mark Parkinson has Similarly, several Kansas founda-
Clare Millea had been most genial Americans suddenly had health
resemblance there was between proclaimed this week as Primary tions have continuously supported
this story and my own congrega- and productive. insurance, millions still wouldn’t be
Care Safety Net Clinic Week. This the clinics, including access to oral
tion’s recent experience with the Mother Clare had never before able to access primary care because
recognizes the clinics in our state health services. Qualiﬁed dentists
Vatican’s investigation. heard of the Sisters of St. Agnes, that literally provide a “safety net” of where they live. There simply
and hygienist also are needed
Earlier this year, our general but she was eager to hear our for the most vulnerable Kansans aren’t enough doctors and nurses
throughout the state.
superior in Fond du Lac, Wisc., story and to examine printed — those who are uninsured and in places that need them most. In As more people look to these
informed us that an inquiry was in materials about us made available underinsured. Kansas, this includes both rural clinics for their health care, we
the ofﬁng, and that it would focus to her. In 2008, these clinics provided areas and the inner city. are grateful for the commitment
on our “quality of life.” At the end of the visit, Mother comprehensive primary care to On behalf of its 43 safety net of these leaders to the medically
The fact is, we inquire into our Clare said she had been deeply more than 189,000 people, regard- clinic members, KAMU wishes to underserved.
quality of life ourselves at meetings touched by her involvement in the less of their ability to pay. The thank the state legislators, private Cathy Harding, executive director
in Wisconsin every summer and in Vatican inquiry, and she will have clinics play a vital role in our com- foundations and many individuals Kansas Association for the
a major way at our general chapter a very positive message about U.S. munities by helping their patients who recognize this problem and Medically Underserved