MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

December 5, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Privatizing government services concerning

There is a movement in our country to privatize government services. The proponents claim that it will cut an overgrown government and save taxpayers money without cutting services.

The recent privatization of Medicaid services in Kansas is a good example of what can happen with this progress. Kansas has 380,000 poor and disabled Kansans who receive services through Medicaid. Gov. Sam Brownback and his backers have contracted a private service called KanCare. They promise this service will save over $1 billion over five years without sacrificing the level of service.

Advocates claim KanCare is a huge success, but there is proof it drastically cuts services for Medicaid patients. Medicaid patients that were on 24/7 care now find they receive only 40 hours a week under KanCare. Many patients find KanCare and companies of this type offer reduced pay. The result is fewer, less capable workers.

I’m very concerned about this drastic push to privatize so many government services and others should also be concerned. The arguments given for changing programs like Social Security and veterans programs are usually found to be false. Many veterans programs, that have been privatized, have deteriorated in service. I am a disabled Korean combat veteran and I get my medical support and needs from the VA. I have been pleased with this service, but believe privatization of these services will reduce the care that my comrades and I now receive.

The push to privatize government services will continue because our politicians are indebted to their rich backers. Privatization will allow companies providing these services to make more profits for their owners, executives, and share holders but this can happen only by cutting services.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

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