Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Nov. 29

Medicaid cuts would hurt the disabled in Ky.

The recent talk about drastic cuts in Medicaid has many Kentuckians with disabilities, their families and advocates worried.

There are an estimated 68,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Kentucky. Many have come out of costly institutional settings over the years or avoided being placed in institutions by a continuum of community-based services funded in large part by Medicaid, an important federal-state partnership.

Medicaid is the lifeline for people of all ages with disabilities, ensuring access to vital health and long-term support services, providing direct-support jobs and adding to the economic life of every community in the nation.

Many private providers of Medicaid services are struggling to keep their doors open as states cut payments to providers to address budget shortfalls.

In Kentucky, the effects of six years of cumulative annual increases in the cost of care, with no increases in funding, have threatened the capacity of providers to maintain quality services and a qualified direct-support work force.

The Kentucky Association of Private Providers represents more than 40 member organizations throughout Kentucky providing services to people with disabilities. Any cuts in Medicaid, particularly at the federal level, would be devastating for people with disabilities.

We urge our representatives in Congress and state government officials to protect Medicaid and the vital, life-transforming supports and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Stephen S. Zaricki

President,Kentucky Association of Private Providers

School spirit

I started at National College in November 2010 in the medical billing program. I can still remember Brandy speaking sincerely about what being a student at National was all about, She said it would take time, determination and dedication to make it but she would help me through this process.

That conversation has changed my life. Not only did I enroll, I became involved with the school in many aspects. I signed up to help other students by tutoring them in the classes I had passed. I joined Phi-Beta-Lambda Future business leaders. It has helped me get acclimated to working with others as well as the public, about proper dress and etiquette, and more importantly, being comfortable with being professional.

National College has helped me aspire to a better standard of living, and has encouraged me to want more out of this life. I am due to graduate in February. I have a lot of people here, students as well as staff, who helped me along the way.

Jewell McKee-Pannell


Drive defensively

I have noticed an increase in cars on the roads in Boyle County over the past 20 years. More cars mean more drivers, which mean a greater diversity of thinking. Since nobody wants to be in an accident, while you are driving pretend (if you don't already think so) that other drivers don't know how to drive. Keep your eyes on as many drivers as you can and stay away from them. Don't drive scared, but drive very cautiously.

Jeffrey L. King


Offer alternatives

I am glad to know that we have so many smart students at the University of Kentucky, especially the one who knows so much about coal.

No doubt the writer of the recent commentary thinks he has all the facts about the bad things that coal is doing to to UK and Kentucky.

The one thing he did not know: What would happen without coal?

Maybe he thinks we should just use "electricity."

Also, he did not come up with an alternative.

Bob Young


Get pensions in check

Kentucky's employees' pension fund is on track to bankrupt our state. It has an estimated $30 billion in unfunded liabilities and is growing rapidly.

Private employers took actions years ago to implement 401(k)plans to phase out their bloated and unsustainable defined-benefit pension plans.

State employees' pensions are larger than many of their private counterparts' expected retirement income. Is this the "fairness" we should expect from Gov. Steve Beshear's administration?

Beshear has four more years to address this critical issue. Will he provide the leadership?

Ray Davis


A matter of law

In response to letters regarding the Bible's views on gay marriage, few people argue about what the Bible states in its many passages.

The real issue is what the U.S. Constitution says in its First Amendment.

Ask state Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-N.Y., and he will tell you the struggles he faced as a Catholic, lawyer and public servant in being one of four Republican senators to break with the party and vote to allow gay marriage.

In the end, as he states, the law of this country set forth by our founding fathers, which he agreed to defend as an elected public servant, won out. He could not vote against allowing gay marriage in New York based on his religious principles.

The one Democrat to vote against the measure cited God as his reason. In the end, New York became the sixth state to uphold our Constitution.

Unless I am mistaken, the only countries that base laws on religious principles are predominantly Muslim. And I am not here to judge these countries. However, I am going to live somewhere where I have the freedom to choose.

David J. Shafran


Inaction doesn't serve

When are the people of the United States going to wake up at the polls?

All we hear are cries that President Barack Obama has not done anything to help the economy. Who is responsible for this? The answer is simple. Congress has an approval rating of 9 percent. Polls show that America doesn't approve of Obama, but they do support his programs and solutions.

So what is wrong? Mitch McConnell as minority leader of the Senate has repeatedly stated that he will do nothing until Obama is out of office. Are we paying him to do nothing? I know if I decided to do nothing at my job until I got a new boss I would quickly join the unemployed. It is time to "ditch Mitch" and his party of no.

When he defeated Dee Huddleston in 1984, McConnell said no one should hold the Senate seat for 12 years. Mitch is now close to 27 years and his statement has proven correct. His time has passed.

He is the one responsible for Obama not being able to pass his incentives. He and his top 1 percent earners are the ones who have control over creating jobs. They are our nation's chief executive officers. Many started their fortunes during Ronald Reagan's trickle-down days, but they didn't expand and create jobs. They downsized and merged, eliminating many jobs. The trickle-down part ran down their legs and landed on the working class.

Jim Beirne