Dear citizens,

Health care by a recent federal study shows 2009 spending was $8,047 per person and a recent National Geographic article shows our health care costs many times more than the rest of the world. The problem exists and is a major impediment to any economic recovery unless it is addressed.

Congress has avoided resolving this issue for decades and recently spent an inordinate amount of their current session coming up with a solution. Now they are giving up because it is too hard. I'm sorry, we didn't elect them because we thought it was easy. The duty of Congress is to come up with the best solution and implement it and correct the unforeseen mistakes as they become apparent. The stakes for our economy and our lives demand we write or call our congressmen and demand they do their job.

Congress can't use political affiliations or media pundits as justification to avoid their responsibilities. This problem needs resolution, history illustrates difficult legislation can be made. The public must show Congress what they're doing makes the electorate mad. If the process doesn't work, fix it!

Congress needs to get this right and take on Social Security and the debt before these problems defy solution.

Whatever your beliefs, send them a message that inaction doesn't solve any problems.

DON HARNESS,

Garden City

Time to ban plastic bags

The Eagle picked up your story on the proposal to ban plastic bags good for Garden City. I wish Wichita would do the same. I have been using reusable fiber bags for more than two years and believe I have probably kept more than 3,000 plastic bags out of the landfill and off the streets. One person can make a difference.

A year ago I began an in-home recycling program. It is really easy and feels so good to know how little I now send to the landfill. I simply took a $20 bookcase and had my son-in-law put a plywood door on it with a magnetic closure. It looks like a nice piece of furniture in my kitchen and holds lots of recycled materials that normally would have gone to the landfill.

On the top shelf is a basket for glass and plastic bags from the newspaper, toilet paper, paper towels, all plastic bags that are not stiff. Next to it is a larger basket for cardboard from household goods such as plastic wrap, wax paper (be sure to use a pair of pliers and remove the metal strip that goes in the metal can basket) and any food box that food hasn't actually touched. Remove the waxed paper liners from cereal boxes and recycle the box.

The middle shelf is for tins and aluminum, which I'll separate at the recycle center. A larger basket is for small plastic bottles keep lids separate, they go with the hard plastic at the recycle center.

The bottom shelf is for newspapers and bags. I keep a large shopping bag in the laundry room for large bottles, hard cardboard and the occasional aluminum can, again to be separated at the center. We are fortunate in Wichita to have great volunteers who keep our recycling center open and a happy place to visit. Feel free to use the info. Yes, Garden City, ban plastic bags. It's good for all of us.

JUDY YOUNG,

Wichita