Topeka — Washington isn’t the only place that health care reform will be fought.
The Kansas Democratic Party on Tuesday dropped off a petition signed by 7,700 people urging lawmakers to reject a proposed state constitutional amendment that is designed to block federal health reform in Kansas.
The Democrats’ petition drive started last week following introduction of the “Health Care Freedom Amendment” by Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, and Reps. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and Peggy Mast, R-Emporia.
The legislators said their proposed amendment would prohibit requiring Kansans to buy health insurance under any government plan. Similar efforts have started in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The Kansas legislators were shuttled to news conferences in Wichita, Emporia, Topeka and Overland Park via a bus paid for by Americans for Prosperity, which opposes government expansion of health care.
Democrats said the proposal was partisan and hypocritical.
The petition stated: “Americans are on the brink of benefiting from substantive and meaningful health insurance reform. Unfortunately, Republican legislators in Kansas are moving quickly to opt out of the reform and deny Kansans the options that will be made available to consumers in other states. Kansans deserve the opportunity to benefit from that legislation — not failed leadership from extreme right-wing politicians looking to score cheap political points.”