Archive for Friday, December 23, 2005

Sebelius knocks federal budget

Governor says cuts will harm Kansans; senators deny claims

December 23, 2005


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday criticized the federal budget approved by the U.S. Senate, saying it will hurt Kansas.

Sebelius said the budget "seriously undermines our commitment to health care and student loans."

"It seems as though every time Kansas takes a step forward, Washington goes out of its way to take two steps back," Sebelius, a Democrat, said.

Her comments referred to the budget approved 51-50 on Wednesday in the Senate, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote.

Kansas Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both Republicans, supported the budget.

"Senator Roberts voted for this bill because it is the first time Congress has tried to reduce the size of the federal government in eight years," a Roberts spokeswoman said.

Brownback added: "Our Kansas communities are not well served by out-of-control and beyond-the-budget spending. We should continue to reduce our deficits and debt so that our children and grandchildren will not be overly burdened by current federal spending."

The legislation would cut federal deficits by nearly $40 billion over the next five years. It faces another vote in the House before it can be sent to President Bush.

Part of the savings in the Senate plan would change Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health care for low-income, elderly and disabled people. It would allow states to charge a co-pay for services and make it more difficult for certain seniors to access.

It also would trim the federal share of dollars to welfare-to-work and child support collection services.

Shannon Jones, executive director of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas, said the proposals were short-sighted because they would force poor people to forgo needed medicine and doctor's visits and end up using more expensive hospital care.

"They're going to get sicker. They're going to go to emergency rooms more," Jones said. "It just pushes the cost elsewhere and doesn't fix the problem."

The Senate plan also reduces federal student aid by $12.7 billion, according to reports. Higher education officials have expressed concern that the cut will drive up interest rates on student loans from private lenders, keeping some from attending college.

Sebelius criticized the plan as her administration sought to assess how the funding changes would affect Kansas. She's preparing to present her state budget plan when the 2006 legislative session starts Jan. 9.

"Here at home, we're working to help Kansans find affordable health care and encourage more Kansans to attend college and vocational school. And just as those efforts are taking hold and improving the lives of everyday people, Washington deals them a real blow," Sebelius said.

"Washington needs to be a partner, not an adversary, in giving our families the tools to achieve a healthy and prosperous future," she said.

But Brownback argued there were no real cuts in the budget, only reductions in the size of growth in spending.

And Roberts said the budget bill gave states new flexibility in operating Medicaid, while providing additional benefits to hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast region.


staff04 12 years, 5 months ago

I love how the compassion just pours out of Republicans when they see an opportunity to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest by cutting programs that benefit the poorest. Suddenly, when it isn't an issue of morality like abortion or gay marriage, they become as un-Christian as they could possibly be.

I call B-S on this one.

mcoan 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow! The Guv shows some backbone and criticizes the Right Wing Kansas Congressional Delegation? Nope...she didn't criticize them, only the actions of the ENTIRE 51 affirmative votes.

Now if she would stand up to the rest of the Right Wing kooks who run the state. I've said all along: She needs to be shaming the Intelligent Design supporters and the entire right wing. The state will have zero economic development as long as it's the laughingstock of the country. How sad...a once-proud, independent state is now completely controlled by extremists and the Governor acts like it's OK.

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

why is this even news? in the grand scheme of things, she is a do nothing nobody.

erichaar 12 years, 5 months ago

"'Washington needs to be a partner, not an adversary, in giving our families the tools to achieve a healthy and prosperous future,' (Sebelius) said."

I can just hear K.S. actually saying this Michelle-Corcoran-crafted political vomitus-- all in Kathy's stoic, monotone, Henry-Kissinger-sounding deep voice.

Regardless of how annoying she is to listen to, it's so convenient for the queen gov to rip the feds, or anyone else for that matter, for not giving her more of other persons' money to spend. Can anyone actually think of something decent she's proposed or implemented?

johngalt 12 years, 5 months ago

who don't you lefties just come out and admit you are socialists -

you want to take money from one group of folks and hand it to others

they tried it in the old Soviet Union, and it didn't work out too well, did it?

Scott Tichenor 12 years, 5 months ago

why is this even news? in the grand scheme of things, she is a do nothing nobody.

Thank you for stating this, because your observation clearly makes a point worth discussing. Sebelius will be the next governor of Kansas. Why? Very simple. Because the Republican party is split so decisively they can't elect one of their own in arguably the most Republican state in the union. Everyone knows this is true. The lunatics are helping us save a little of the state's sanity.

Apparently Time Magazine thinks she's doing a pretty good job because they named her one of the top five governor's in the country. Poor "tubby" Jeb Bush--Castro said it, I'm just repeating his words ;)--finished in the worst five.

Oh wait, Time Magazine is just another liberal press tool.

What could I possibly be THINKING?

Densmore 12 years, 5 months ago

From johngalt, obviously not a Rhodes Scholar:

"who don't you lefties just come out and admit you are socialists -

you want to take money from one group of folks and hand it to others

they tried it in the old Soviet Union, and it didn't work out too well, did it?"

It's called taxation, genius. Every free country in the world is free because of taxation.

There was no taxation in the erstwhile Soviet Union.


Taxes are imposed to fund the defense of the country, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to fund local law enforcement and fire protection, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to fund/assist education, so that we have a capable work force, thus enabling free enterprise.

Taxes are imposed to provide relief for the sick and poor, so that we do not have a chaotic, unhappy and rebellious society where free enterprise would be obstructed.

Godot 12 years, 5 months ago

The Democrats love to trot out the mantra of "the rich get tax breaks at the expense of the poor." Take note that Sebelius decries the fact that, because of the new bill, it will be harder for some Kansans to qualify for Medicaid.

The informed reader will discern that the Kansans who will have a harder time qualifying for Medicaid are the ones who have a house worth more than $500,000, and/or who have transferred their assets (which could have paid for their medical expenses) to their heirs within five years of needing to go to a nursing home.

In other words, this bill makes it harder for upper income people to hide or transfer their assets so that they can pass them on to their heirs, rather than spend their money on their own health care. This makes more Medicaid dollars available for lower income people.

Of course, Sebelius, and the Journal World, don't want you to know that. They want you to believe the lie that that this bill takes money away from the needy, which it does not. It takes federal and state money away from the privileged to preserve it for the less advantaged.

leftwingfarmboy 12 years, 5 months ago

try this again! HEY NUGGET! The media is only as liberal as the corporations that own them. Figure that one out...

Godot 12 years, 5 months ago

Observer, I hate to be the one to break this news to you, but the USSR collapsed in 1991. It hasn't existed as a political entity since then. There is now a country named Russia, and several smaller countries that used to be part of the USSR that are now independent.

I am guessing, here, but I think you are referring to a reference to the 1917 consititutional congress that was ARCHIVED in 2002. Small, but important, distinction.

Densmore 12 years, 5 months ago

From Arminius:

2) The state exercises control over the measure of labor and of consumption in accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work". It fixes the rate of taxation on taxable income.


Fair point. However, I did not want to waste my time addressing the obvious. But I guess that I should have done so for your benefit. Here goes:

When salaries and wages are artificailly fixed, as was the case in the erstwhile Soviet Union, there is no true "taxation." The Commies termed it "taxation," but when you juxtapose an erstwhile Soviet citizen's "rights" with an erstwhile Soviet's particular circustances, you will see that it was not a matter of taxation-it was a matter of withholding, without recourse. That is not taxation. That is government control of salaries and wages.

Godot 12 years, 5 months ago

Now, that being said, lets clarify the misleading and false impression given by Sebelius and the JW that the bill represents a cut in spending for Medicaid. The bill revised the GROWTH in Medicaid spending from a proposed 41% increase to a 40% increase. In my world, that is not a CUT.

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