Love wrong on tax-break vote
State Senator Garrett Love voted recently to exempt for-profit health clubs from paying county property tax. This bill was promoted by Rodney Stevens, owner of Genesis Health Clubs, a health club chain. Mr. Stevens argues he shouldn't have to pay county property taxes because he provides the same service as the YMCA. Of course, YMCAs are charities; they provide countless services to the community at minimal cost. When they make money it comes back to the community, not to an owner.
According to the March 25 edition of the Topeka Capital Journal (Wichita fitness club owner bets $45K on healthy tax break), Sen. Love defended the bill during floor debate.
Why would our State Senator take such an interest? Perhaps it was because of the $2,000 campaign contribution from Mr. Stevens and the $1,000 contribution from Genesis Health Clubs Management Sen. Love received in 2012. Check it out at ProjectVoteSmart.com.
SARAH BOOTES SHATTUCK,
KanCare approach won't meet needs
Maintaining quality services for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities is very important to me. I am very concerned that the state will include long-term care services for persons with developmental disabilities in its managed care plan for Kansas beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Managed care models were designed to help contain costs associated with acute medical needs. Long-term care for persons with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities is neither acute nor medical. It is a spectrum of life-long, person-focused supports that enable a person to live as independently as possible in the community of their choosing.
The fact that I/DD long-term care services are a bad fit for managed care can be seen in the vast majority of states that have chosen to specifically exclude, or "carve out," these services for this population from their managed care plans. Only four states in the union have even attempted applying managed care to I/DD long-term care services. None of those four states chose a model even remotely like KanCare for the management of their I/DD long-term care services.
I strongly urge you to permanently exclude I/DD long-term care services from KanCare.
Remember lessons from Eisenhower
Monday was tax day. But how many of us know what the U.S. government is doing with the money we pay?
I was surprised to learn from the Friends Committee on National Legislation that 37 cents of every dollar we pay in federal income taxes go to pay for current and past wars. At the same time, education, diplomacy and help to the nearly 100 million people living in poverty in this country get only pennies on every dollar.
Right now, our members of Congress, Representative Huelskamp and Senators Moran and Robertson are hearing from the Pentagon that cutting into their projected spending will be a catastrophe for national security. With so much of our tax dollars already going to military projects, I think that it would be a catastrophe not to reshape our country's budget to reflect our priorities as a nation. Congress has an opportunity — but will they take it? I believe we must remember the words of President Eisenhower. He said very clearly that the Military Industrial Complex was the only thing that could destroy our country. During his administration he reduced Pentagon spending and taxed millionaires 93 percent. This forced them to invest in companies and jobs rather than pay taxes. Our economy was at its strongest. President Eisenhower oversaw a march on Washington called the Bonus March by World War I veterans. The government hadn't paid this promised bonus to our veterans. Leading it was the U.S. General from World War I. He wrote a book called "War is a Racket." I think President Eisenhower learned this lesson, too. Our military spending and wars are what threaten our security.