Archive for Friday, October 5, 2007

Sebelius: Health veto should be overridden

Bush said measure would have been a step toward ‘socialized medicine’

October 5, 2007


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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday said if taxpayer-funded health insurance was good enough for the children of President Bush and members of Congress, it should be good enough for low-income children needing health care.

Sebelius, who is chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, and other Democratic supporters of the State Children's Health Insurance Program participated in a telephone news conference, urging Congress to override Bush's veto of a funding increase for the program.

SCHIP provides low-cost health coverage to the children of families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but don't earn enough to purchase private insurance. The program covers 6.6 million children nationally, including 35,000 in Kansas.

In a bipartisan vote, Congress approved a $35 billion increase in SCHIP over five years, funded by an increase in the cigarette tax. That would add about 4 million children to the program.

But Bush vetoed the measure, saying the funding increase was a step toward socialized medicine and would entice some with private coverage to switch to government-financed plans.

Sebelius said Bush's objection was "mystifying."

She said many public officials, including herself and members of Congress, governors and the president, have benefited from taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage for themselves and their children when they are minors.

"If it's good enough for our kids and congressional kids and I think the president's kids, hopefully it should be good for the low-income children of America who are desperate for this preventive care," Sebelius said.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, who participated in the news conference, said it was "astounding to me" that Bush would veto the bill the same week he asked for nearly $200 billion to continue the war in Iraq.

"We have got to get our priorities straight," she said.

To overturn Bush's veto would require a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and House. While the SCHIP proposal passed the Senate with more than two-thirds support, it would require about 15 more votes in the House to reach that margin.

Democrats said they would try to lure more Republicans to vote to override.

Of Kansas' congressional delegation, Republicans U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran of Hays voted for the bill and said they would vote to override Bush's veto. U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, voted against the bill. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas who is running for president, didn't vote on the bill but voted against an earlier version.

Both Democrats in the House - Dennis Moore of Lenexa and Nancy Boyda of Topeka - support the bill and have said they will vote to override the veto.

House leaders have scheduled an override attempt on Oct. 18. While the battle continues, Congress adopted a resolution that keeps SCHIP funded through mid-November.


Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

This is the most ridiculous liine of reasoning I have ever heard coming from a supposedly educated and intelligent individual.

Gee, our government employees' children receive insurance benefits because benefits are a part of the compensation package; therefore, all children should have those benefits.

Lets make it more local, and more pertinent. Kansas University professional staff and faculty receive a payment by the State equal to 8% of their salary per year into a tax deferred retirement account.

If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for everyone.

I want my government paid private annuity, just like other government employees get. It is only fair.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

The Constitution specifically requires the Federal government to provide for national defense; nowhere does the Constitution require the Federal government to provide health insurance for anyone.

If the states want to provide this benefit, that is their prerogative. They should pay for it. That is the way it started. Then, when they found themselves unable to meet the obligations they had created for themselves when they established health care programs for poor children, due to extremely poor leadership and poor fiscal management, they went to the Federal government for help. They got it. Now they are demanding that the Federal government increase the scope of the program by billions of dollars and use the argument that money that is spent on defense should be spent on health care.

Unconstitutional. Socialistic. Unreasonable.

Quit playing on the heartstrings and playing loose with the logic and the facts, Sebelius. It does not work.

toefungus 10 years, 6 months ago

I think a better solution would be to end the program of insurance for government workers. If you give insurance to government and to 20% of our lowest income people, the over taxed middle is squeezed to death. This may be the aim of the Democrates, but it is a bad aim. Universal coverage should be debated and voted on, it should not be done in pieces by creating a class war.

imastinker 10 years, 6 months ago

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

I think godot was talking about Federal funded health care not state funded.

I'm with godot.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

Logicsound04 has a problem with reading comprehension

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

Gee, the last I heard there were only 40 milliion uninsured Americans, now there are 100 million uninsured children, according to Americorps! My, my how easy it is to manufacture data when you need it!

This program will make children who are already covered under an employer plan eligible for coverage under the taxpayer funded program; It redefines "child" to include adults up to the age of 25.

If this definition of child is good enough for the proponents of the vastly expanded SCHIP, then we will have no choice but to raise the age of majority to 26, meaning it applies to voting rights, drinking, property ownership, rights to enter into contracts, marriage, domestic partnerships, and self determination.

We must be consistent in making the population dependent upon parents and government.

C_hertling 10 years, 6 months ago

Everyone seems to be forgetting the fact that this bill would increase spending on the SCHIP program by 1200% (yes, one-thousand two hundred percent)

Also for reference, in the state of Kansas: the Federal poverty level is still used to determine elligibility for the HealthWave (aka SCHIP) program, despite our lower cost of living. For a family of four, this equates to $20,652. So, the 300% of poverty cut off in Kansas would be $61,956.

Currently, a 200% of poverty level limit is in place, or $41,304 for a family of four. So, even before the program is expanded, those making up to $41K in Kansas are elligible for SCHIP. (source:

I challenge anyone to prove to me that in the state of Kansas, $62k a year, or even $41k a year would be considered poor. I fall dead center between these figures and have never sought, or needed, government aid.

If we are going to base elligibility on Poverty levels, it needs to be adjusted for local economic conditions, instead of basing it on the Federal weighted average Poverty level.

Sounds like a step towards socialism to me.

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

-It may not be guaranteed by the Constitution, but there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

If it isn't guaranteed by the Constitution wouldn't that make it unconstitutional?

Individual rights are protected by the constitution. How is it constitutional for the federal government to force me to give up a part of my income so that these uninsured children can have health care. That should be their own parents job. I am taking care of my kids, I don't need to be forced to foot the bill for someone elses kids.

ctrmhero 10 years, 6 months ago

I am so happy to see that our commander in chief cares so much for the troops. This bill is another example of his caring for the troops. A provision of this bill would have changed FMLA to allow for a spouse or immediate family member to care for an injured soldier that returns from duty for a period of six months without the fear of losing there job. Great to know how these injured vets are again asking for more handouts. Like the president fighing expansion of disability for vets and putting reserve vet retirement on an even playing field with other federal employees.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 6 months ago


What's this about 100 million uninsured Americans??

fletch 10 years, 6 months ago

"Sebelius repulses me. How did we end up with something like that as gov?"

Because you're in the minority...

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

"I am so happy to see that our commander in chief cares so much for the troops. This bill is another example of his caring for the troops. A provision of this bill would have changed FMLA to allow for a spouse or immediate family member to care for an injured soldier that returns from duty for a period of six months without the fear of losing there job."

A provision of that importance should have been presented in a separate bill, and it could still be done so that it could be considered upon its merits. Lumping it in with a massive increase in the SCHIP program, which has nothing to do with caring for veterans, and then accusing the president of not caring for the troops because he vetoed the bill, is a perfect example of political and intellectual dishonesty. It is a political dirty trick.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

We all know that government funding predictions are never right. They are always on the short side.

So this program is projected to add $45,000,000,000 to the budget over the next five years, which will be funded by increased taxes on tobacco. What will be the cost after that, particularly when, like all government programs, it is grossly mismanaged, becomes bloated with highly paid bureaucrats, results in thousands of lawsuits, and, of course, continues to expand the definition of "child?" And from whence will the funding come when tobacco use becomes a privilege that only the wealthy can afford? I believe Gov. Sebelius has foreshadowed that solution: harking back to the go-go 90's, slash spending on national defense and gut intelligence agencies. Who needs a strong defense anyway, when Democrats are in charge, and everyone in the world loves us?

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

Do you really think it's unconstitutional for the government to collect taxes and redistribute according to legislation?

You tell me.

Article 1; Section 9, Clause 4: "No Capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

We managed without the income tax before 1913. Government has nothing to give. All government can do is take money from one group to redistribute it to another group. Quit thinking that govenment is the great savior for health care or anything else for that matter. Can you not see that many of your heros in the house and the senate are corrupt? We need the government out of our lives. Are you blind to the fact that the free market does things better than the government? When government is involved prices go up and quality goes down. Why don't you go down to the VA and get an eyefull of government health care? It sucks. Ask a veteran.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

No, illogicsound, the political dirty trick to which I refer is a particular favorite of Dems like Sebelius her compatriot lowlifes in Congress. They are depending on the ignorance of the sheeples that have been shepherded through the public education system who do not have the basic thinking skills to realize that their accusation is basically dishonest and that their argument is a sham.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 6 months ago

Why the devil should my tax dollars provide health insurance to a 21 year old "child" whose daddy makes $83k per year???

Grab your veto pen and sign away, Mr President, sign away!!!

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

If you have a taxpayer funded health insurance program whose funding depends, in part, upon the savings accomplished by eliminating marketing, underwriting and claims determination, you have non-private, not-for-profit, government mandated and managed health care.

Thank you, Logicsound04, for making my point.

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

Finally, I am so tired of this notion that universal healthcare and government-run healthcare are the same thing. I want to leave management in the hands of hospitals and healthcare providers. I just want the government to pay for it. Since we already waste 31% of our total healthcare expenditures on things that commonly associate with free-market enterprise (marketing dept., underwriting dept., billing dept., claims recovery [see: denial] dept.), lets use that money for actually providing healthcare instead of the administrative functions of a for-profit insurance company.

Do you really think that if the government is paying for it, they are not going to have their hands in it? And when they get their hands in it do you really think they won't screw it up? If you believe that, I think you have to high a view of government efficiency.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

Have you noticed that government entities have their own, taxpayer funded marketing staff, otherwise known and public relations and communications?

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Sebelius is a breath of fresh air in state full of astonishingly backward politicians and political issues.

Confrontation 10 years, 6 months ago

As long as Dubya's family is covered, then screw everyone else. Big oil pays his premium.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 6 months ago

"vetoing the federally-funded stem-cell research bill"

You libs always intentionally leave out "embryonic" when refering to embryonic stem cell research.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 10 years, 6 months ago

Secular-progressives don't give a flying fig about the Constitution. SP's think America needs dramatic change and they want to completely overhaul America.

Rightthinker, haven't you yet figured out that Bill O'Reilly is a liar. He is another Rush Bimbo wannabe, regardless of his denials. He coined this interesting new perjoritive term "secular progressive". whatever the hell that is. And his did his usual Fox news hachet job on Kansas by cozying up to the Wichita Bitch S. Wagel her politically motivated smear of Professor Dennis Daily. He also did a number on Kansas for not re-electing Phill the Pill Kline. He is one thing. Another peddler of "stuff" and "gear" and "right-on books" Nothing more..

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

im for stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research - Im also for all children having universal access to health care - and cant for the life of me figure out how that could possibly be a bad thing. Shouldnt health care be a human right, not just for the wealthy?

Rationalanimal 10 years, 6 months ago

If you really want to help families Governor Sebellius then give families a tax credit for money they pay for private health insurance. That allows them to go out and select their own plan that inevitably is more competitive, provides better benefits, better suited for their needs, spend the money they worked hard to earn instead of a Washington socialist nitwit and allows families the dignity of not having to take a hand-out from the government. The bottom line is that this is move to push our Country towards socialism veiled in the heart-strings of "this is about the kids" and "Bush is heartless." It is frankly pathetic to use kids whose parents make $80,000 a year to promote the Democrats socialist ideology. If its really about the kids then cut marginal tax rates so that both parents don't have to work to pay the taxes required for all the bloated socialist programs we have and can largely thank democrats for giving us over the last 50 years. Routing tax dollars to Washington DC ALWAYS results in a significant loss of value on each dollar sent and benefits received. It creates a vicious cycle where more taxes are needed to feed the beast of socialism. The end result is the destruction of the free market, real prosperity, class fluidity in exchange for equal mediocrity for all. It is tiring that the so many lazy free-loaders are increasing the burdens up on the backs of the truly hard working Americans. It is frankly time for many Americans to get off their rear ends and start working instead of asking for a hand-out from whomever will promise to give them the most in exchange for their vote.

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Dot lines -if this were purely a political issue, wouldn't the opposition be proposing a different bill that fixed this issue and still provided health coverage to children? This just seems funny to me - its usually the republicans that put together legislation that helps the rich get richer.

I dont hear a peep out of the opposition, and I think there might have actually been a few republicans that backed this legislation.

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Dot - you make a good case, and I need to check into it further. I have to admit that I have been looking at this from the strictly - this veto means more sick kids - point of view.

My struggle with health insurance in America is very layered. I think the current systems is crap. Both the public and private health care systems are overloaded with administrative red tape, sucking away over half the $$ spent on health care. This comes at the expense of care - which in my personal observations has gotten worse over the last 20 years- even in the private sector - where I get my insurancce. I don't believe that the free market can deal with health care because in the free market health providers - like all businesses - need to be motivated by profit (as most businesses must be) again at the expense of quality and quantity of care. Added to this is the belief that I have that health care is a human right, and no one should be denied treatment nor care for illness or injury. All of these issues make it hard for me to see any light at the end of the health care nightmare in america - wish I could visualize a long term solution but am kind of out of ideas. Ive come to the conclusion is that the only solution can come from level headed, open minded, respectful dialog from all sides. This is a great forum to start vetting out the solution, and I welcome your, and anyone else's opinion on the matter.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

I have a radical solution to the high cost of health care, and it has nothing to do with health insurance. First, fix what is wrong with Big Education: reign in the obscenely high cost of obtaining a professional degree, and remove government funded medical research as a profit center for Big Education. Second, shield physicians from the constant threat of lawsuits so that they are free to practice diagnostic and preventative medicine, as opposed to defensive medicine. Third, completely remove government from the health care equation, beginning with Medicare.

Do these things, and you will begin to see the cost of health care come under control.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

This thread is amazing.

Simple questions:

1 - does the United States, as a country, believe healthcare should be a right or a privilege?

2 - is our current system truly "market" driven? Do people access health care in the same "market" fashion they access, for example, food? Clothing? Housing? Services such as a haircut or an accountant?

The answer to question 1, contrary to the Fox Nuisance viewers who infest this thread, is a comfortable majority believe access to healthcare should be a right.

The answer to question 2 is no, the system is not market driven. The market forces which control 99% of the goods and services we purchase do not apply to healthcare. Now, I'm certain you have a lot of personal anecdotes and quaint exceptions which you believe would prove there is a market system.

Perhaps you once were unhappy with a visit to a physician, and that physician either gave you another visit for free, as say your barber might if you had a faulty haircut, or refunded your money. Perhaps you once "shopped around" for a health care service. Well, good for you and your one-time experience.

Hence the cliche "exception which proves the rule." Leave it be, don't want to hear it.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

dirkleasure, I agree that access to healthcare should be a freedom that all enjoy; I do not believe that some people have the right to make other people pay for their health services, particularly those who have the menas, but simply choose not to spend their money on health insurance.

erod0723 10 years, 6 months ago

Healthcare is a fundamental and universal right that every child in this country should be allowed access to, whatever the cost. Every child should have the same access to quality of healthcare regardless of economic or social status. The far right extremists would have you believe that this is an advancement towards socialism. I think at this point that anything other than George Bush would be a better alternative. Socialists atleast wouldn't torture innocent people and then lie about it, or start an unwinnable war and demand hundreds of billions of dollars to fund said war. The president has no right to demand fiscal responsibility when he has been the most irresponsible president in history. Demanding money for the war machine and then denying basic human rights to children is not only hypocritical, but also shows where Dubya and all the far right extremists truly hang their hat. By playing politics with children's lives, Bush has once again proven his allegience to his lobbyists and the right wing machine.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

Godot, you need to drop your private insurance coverage immediately. For you home, auto, life, and health.

All insurance is based on the principle of others with means and no accidents, etc., paying for those with lesser means who face misfortune.

KS 10 years, 6 months ago

If you own a cell phone and/or have internet access at your home, you can afford your own health insurance. Beyond that, healthcare paid for by the taxpayer is socialism. Look out folks. If the Dems get the WH, it is coming. Please enter your 21,000 medical ID # and press one for a backache, two for a headache and by the way, your call is important to us, but unfortunately your waiting time will be six months, two weeks and three days and eight hours, please stay on the line until your next socialist associate can get to you. Hope you understand broken English. No way.

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

KS, are you nuts? You obviously dont have much of a health plan if what you say is true. And there is no way you have coverage for a spouse or children. And today my health coverage (private ins) is something like this -

Hello - please check to see if the doctor you want to see is in our plan - sorry - you need to see a back specialist - sorry - first you need to see a primary care dr. You dont have one - sorry - please find one in our plan - none are taking new patients - sorry you need to go outside of plan (and pay out of pocket) - your out of plan doctor prescribed lipitor, sorry that is not covered by our plan - you received a bill for health care - please call our 1800 # and say on hold for hours and get nowhere -

Please - to claim that health care in America is some super high end, high quality deal is outrageous. High quality health care in America is for the super wealthy - period. The rest of us get mediocre care at best

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

People in their 20's and 30's can purchase catastrophic health insurance for under $40 per month.

That is a cell phone payment. KS was right.

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