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Archive for Tuesday, October 27, 2009

State Republican lawmakers propose ‘Healthcare Freedom Amendment’

October 27, 2009, 8:38 a.m. Updated October 27, 2009, 5:01 p.m.

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State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, speaks Tuesday during news conference in Senate chamber on her proposed constitutional amendment that would make it unconstitutional to require a person to have health insurance under a proposed government plan. State Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, is in the background.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, speaks Tuesday during news conference in Senate chamber on her proposed constitutional amendment that would make it unconstitutional to require a person to have health insurance under a proposed government plan. State Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, is in the background.

— Several Republican state lawmakers toured Kansas on Tuesday pushing for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would prohibit requiring Kansans to buy health insurance under a government plan.

The proposal was touted by the legislators as a pre-emptive strike against health reform authored by Democrats in Congress.

“The federal government does not have the ability to manage health care,” said state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Similar efforts have been mobilized 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.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, and state Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, also spoke at the Topeka event, which was held in the Senate chamber and attended by members of the 9-12 Project and Americans for Prosperity.

Afterward, Democrats slammed the proposal as partisan and hypocritcal.

“Although a vigorous debate on health care reform is expected, it is upsetting that the chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, the chair of the House Social Services Budget Committee, and a member of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee all are so opposed to helping the 300,000 Kansans currently without coverage,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence. “Shouting ‘no’ before a bill has even been finalized — and with no alternative — is a disservice to the people of Kansas,” he said.

The proposed amendment will be introduced during the legislative session that starts in January. It would have to be approved by two thirds of the House and Senate to send it to voters for consideration in November 2010.

Comments

Orwell 4 years, 5 months ago

This is called "nullification." John C. Calhoun and South Carolina wanted to try this around 1830 on issues relating to people owning other people. It didn't work.

When they went to Plan B about thirty years later, that didn't turn out so well either.

This is what we call "the politics of the spoiled loser."

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JayhawkRCS 4 years, 5 months ago

Please feel free to educate yourselves on the historical extent of states' rights.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

"I'll just say I'm in favor of running the country the way the constitution says we're supposed to..."

Well, I'll leave that canard for another day.

Before wandering too far off the reservation -- health insurance -- I'm curious how one of the patrons of libertarianism Friedrich von Hayek argued so forcefully in his classic work "The Road to Serfdom" (a book Glenn Beck might actually consider cracking the cover on) when discussing "Security and Freedom" in favor and approval of the state organizing assistance to people in making provision for accidents and sickness by the provision for social insurance. This, of course, isn't "government take over of health care" but then that's never been on the table, just one more GOP scare tactic to justify continuing fealty to their insurance masters.

Imagine for a moment if the Repubs had actually been serious about governing. We could have had a system that would have (A) peeled off ordinary and predictable costs such as colds, pregnancy, innoculation, etc. and funded them through tax-exempt savings and personal responsibility, (B) mandatory but regulated private insurance for accidents and serious illness with subsidies for the poor, and (C) managed to limit direct government involvement to catastrophic illness.

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pace 4 years, 5 months ago

i am amazed at the bravery to openly do what is bad for the working families just to honor their debt$ to the Insurance and health corporate powers. I hope they got a lot. This is the republican health care plan? To keep reform from Kansans.

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ShePrecedes 4 years, 5 months ago

While I am independent, I think this move is reasonable. It is so incredibly unconstitutional to mandate nationally that a person have health insurance. The old-time Kansas Populists would poop over this one. And sometimes there is a better answer to health care costs than insurance. If you aren't using their services and stuff, you throw away your money. If you invested in real estate as an insurance against massive health care costs, it would appreciate, and, if farm land, bring money into the situation every year. There ought to be a way to opt out of any of it at anytime.

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beobachter 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth, so...we're done here then? I guess after your devastating critque of libertarianism there's nothing left to say. I mean, how can I respond to such well-argued accusations like being a Rand fanboy and a loon? You've really challenged my whole worldview--gave me a lot to think about. Why did I ever think property rights were so important? How could I ever conclude that protecting individual freedoms is the primary purpose of governments? Thanks for setting me straight by telling me it was really all about pretending I'm a fictional character in a book I've never read.

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fallingwhilereading 4 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if the State Republicans meant. You have the freedom not to have insurance, and oh by the way you need to keep paying for are insurance. If the State Republicans cared about health insurance they would pay for their own health care from the pocket. Like the rest of us do.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Well Tony, I took it from a two page letter I wrote a friend several years ago. After going to the website and searching around, I found the entry you're talking about. You're right. Save some small alterations, its a match. I must have copied part of that narrative for the letter.

I'm glad you went to the site. Does my lack of a citation change anything? It remains my opinion, which is what you asked for. More importantly, how does that opinion square with yours?

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth says: "...the modern US political philosophy of Libertarianism doesn't stretch much further back than the founding of the party in 1971."

Well folks, the intellectual rigor required on this blog just dropped again. The abject ignorance of that statement is simply astounding. In the spirit of "No Blogger Left Behind" you need to do some remedial research. Start with this Gareth:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v29n2/cpr29n2-1.html

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

"The phrase, “general Welfare,” in Article I, Section 8 does not authorize Congress to enact any laws it claims are in the “general Welfare” of the United States. The phrase sets forth the requirement that all laws passed by Congress in Pursuance of the enumerated powers of the Constitution shall also be in the general Welfare of the United States. This was affirmed by James Madison when he wrote: “With respect to the words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”"

that's actually a direct quote from the tenth amendment center's 10/4 pledge.

Though you did add the phrase "in my opinion" (kinda funny) & the slight sentence restructuring: "is a preamble, an introductory paragraph to the enumerated powers that follow. It"

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

Keep digging, Liberty.

Shine on, you crazy diamond.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth (Anonymous) says…

"No, Liberty — modern Libertarian authors quote Madison because they want people to ignore that the modern US political philosophy of Libertarianism doesn't stretch much further back than the founding of the party in 1971"

Absolutely. It has nothing to do with agreeing with Madison's statements at all.

"Libertarians are intellectually dishonest loons"

Of course they are--why won't they just admit that they are really what you say they are?

"despite the fact that at the time Madison was making those statements, the philosophy he was espousing was known as liberalism. “Libertarian” was a synonym, and is now used as the preferred term by folks who think that “liberal” is a dirty word, and so want to revise history."

That's definitely the kicker. They are so dishonest. Why can't they just say they are "liberals" instead of "libertarians." That wouldn't be confusing at all. Everybody knows that when someone is talking about "liberalism" they are really talking about free markets, property rights and limited government. That's the clearest evidence that they are really just Rand fanboys and have absolutely no philosophical connections to 18th century thinkers--otherwise they would use the same term to describe themselves.

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

"Oh great, another poster with no original thoughts."

perhaps you forgot to cite your source for the paragraph with the James Madison quote. well, i guess a couple phrases were added... that makes it original. i imagine its either:

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=26245

or

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?p=2362843

original thoughts indeed.

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

No, Liberty -- modern Libertarian authors quote Madison because they want people to ignore that the modern US political philosophy of Libertarianism doesn't stretch much further back than the founding of the party in 1971 -- so they try to couch it in respectability by co-opting statements from figures like Madison.... (and here's the kicker, folks).... despite the fact that at the time Madison was making those statements, the philosophy he was espousing was known as LIBERALISM. "Libertarian" was a synonym, and is now used as the preferred term by folks who think that "liberal" is a dirty word, and so want to revise history.

Libertarians are intellectually dishonest loons -- nothing more than "survival of the fittest" pro-market conservatives who like to pretend that they're something more noble.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Jimo says: "Repubs aren't talking about it because you can't say Massachusetts when speaking in tongues."

LMAO!

Jimo says: "There's libertarian as in small, efficient government and then there's libertarian as in wacked-out, everything can go to hell if you don't agree that we should be able to sell babies and let orphans starve."

Ya know Jimo, I could pull a Merrill with this answer, but in the interest of brevity I'll just say I'm in favor of running the country the way the constitution says we're supposed to, provided we could get a ruling on the "general welfare" clause that restores congress to their rightful place - so that would be the first of your two definitions I suppose.

I believe people are sovereign, and they are what makes this country great, and when empowered (vice encumbered) by government, they have and can do great things for themselves and the rest of society. I just don't see a viable substitute for that philosophy. At the end of the day, robbing from Peter to pay Paul is unsustainable.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth (Anonymous) says…

"LibertyOne: Speaking of books, maybe you should try reading one. The modern political philosophy of Libertarianism has its roots in Rand's Objectivist ideas, and almost no relation to the “classical” libertarian thought."

I guess I've been deceived. The books, blogs and magazines I've read all make numerous references to thinkers that wrote before Rand. But thanks to your unsupported anonymous statement on an internet forum I guess I should disregard all that evidence. Who knew that when libertarian authors are quoting James Madison they are really talking about Rand? I'm sure it has nothing to do with a desperate attempt to dismiss a political philosophy by claiming its source is a work of fiction instead of addressing its substantive qualities. Surely you aren't just being intellectually lazy and disingenuous, right?

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

LibertyOne: Speaking of books, maybe you should try reading one. The modern political philosophy of Libertarianism has its roots in Rand's Objectivist ideas, and almost no relation to the "classical" libertarian thought.

But then, given your comment history, I wouldn't expect you to know that.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

"I tend to be an unapologetic conservative libertarian "

There's libertarian as in small, efficient government and then there's libertarian as in wacked-out, everything can go to hell if you don't agree that we should be able to sell babies and let orphans starve.

Unfortunately, as New Gingrinch has pointed out, the first often means, since the majority of others disagree with small government, that this devolves into playing 'tax collector for the welfare state' - that is, Dems spend and spend and Repubs are forced to keep agreeing to tax increases to pay for it.

The second route is too close to Ayn Rand quasi-nihilism for anyone's taste.

We need Repubs to give up the snake oil solution of cutting taxes regardless of circumstances and Dems to get a clue that balancing the budget helps far more than fat-cat Wall Street bond-holders and the Chinese Communist Party.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

"Anyone wonder why Obama isn't touting Massachusetts as a model for mandatory healthcare?"

You mean Mitt-Romney-Care? Be careful, that's probably the only GOP nominee who could win in 2012 that you're talking about.

I imagine no one talks about it because it's irrelevant for Dems cause they still hope (with some basis) to move past the 'force everyone to buy overpriced private insurance' with their 'public option.'

Repubs aren't talking about it because you can't say Massachusetts when speaking in tongues.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth (Anonymous) says…

"The reason why every political philosophy, across the spectrum from conservative to liberal, is better than Libertarianism, tbaker, is because the other philosophies aren't based on bad novels."

Libertarianism isn't based on a novel. You sound pretty silly considering Libertarian ideals are found in documents like the Federalists papers and works of Austrian economists--both of which predate Rand's novel.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Satirical. The water has been muddied - which I think is half of Gareth's problem. To call me a libertarian conjures thoughts of the Libertarian Party. I'm not a member, and never will be, but that's the problem. People tend to label others by political "party" affiliation instead of the individual person's political ideology, which is unique to the person.

I "tend" to agree with many libertarian principals, but certainly not all of them. I'd be kicked out of the party for my beliefs on the preemptive use of military power, immigration, and illegal drugs (minus pot), but being able to put me in a box and call me a libertarian makes people feel better because it fits their mental model. It gives them the chance to trot-out lame arguments about novels they haven't read / don't understand.

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Satirical 4 years, 5 months ago

tbaker... "All they can do is level baseless attacks against the beliefs of others because they either have no core beliefs, or what they do have lacks any virtue worth promoting."

I tend to agree. While I am not a libertarian, I think they are one of the few groups who actually try to understand and critically analyze the role of government in our lives. This is the same thing our Founding Fathers did.

Many Dems and Republicans are in their camp because that is what their family brought them up as, or they believe one side is evil, and so by default they go to other. Many independents label themselves as such because they haven't thought hard enough about core philosophical and ideological issues.

I think of myself as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. I used to be a registered libertarian, but now choose not to associate with any party, although I am an self-identified "conservative." While I don't agree with all of your concepts of the role of government, I appreciate a well-reasoned difference of opinion.

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

The reason why every political philosophy, across the spectrum from conservative to liberal, is better than Libertarianism, tbaker, is because the other philosophies aren't based on bad novels.

The sad thing about Libertarians, is that they all think that they are John Galt -- that they are the alpha-industrial-creatives that the "masses" live off of --

What they never seem to grasp is that they are the masses, not the alphas. It's sad -- a bunch of wanna-be Galts, toiling in obscurity, who think the world should work the way it was presented in a badly-reviewed bomb of a novel from 1957.

It would be almost funny, if they didn't actually believe it.

They're like the Scientologists of politics.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Oh great, another poster with no original thoughts. The minute someone starts spouting ridiculous attacks against libertarians, ask them why their political ideology is so much better. Don't hold your breath. All they can do is level baseless attacks against the beliefs of others because they either have no core beliefs, or what they do have lacks any virtue worth promoting. Thanks for playing. Party on Garth.

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

Great, another Ayn Rand fanboy. The minute somebody starts spouting the ridiculous Libertarian BS, remember the following:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. "

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Jimo - what do you think it means when 20% of people self-identify as republicans, yet 40% of people call themselves conservative?

I think it means the Republican Party has failed, which is fine with me. I wish all political parties would fail. I suppose the fact that only 20% of people call themselves "liberal" means the Democratic Party has to be losing people to the "conservative - yet unaffiliated" camp, indicating the same thing is happening to the dems. I think it's a good sign: people are abandoning political parties because they see the truth.

"...on probation as a result of your unapologetic past history." LMAO! Thanks. That was a good belly laugh. You're right - I tend to be an unapologetic conservative libertarian with liberal social views (but not a member of the dopey libertarian party mind you) Still laughing, in a good healthy way, not a "I can't find my meds!" Porch way.

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MyName 4 years, 5 months ago

Great, let's pass this amendment without any serious discussion and see how many people pick up and move to Missouri or Colorado if the bill passes and these states choose to stay in the system.

Sounds like a great way to ensure we lose out on thousands of entrepreneurs who want to build a business but can't afford health insurance.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Excellent question Tony. Bear in mind, the operative word in this response is "my" interpretation - which differs greatly from today's unfortunate reality.

In plain English, our the constitution was written to serve a limiting function. It's first purpose was to narrowly and very specifically define the role of the federal government in that the federal government was strictly prohibited from doing things that were not "enumerated" in the constitution.

In my opinion, the phrase, “general Welfare,” in Article I, Section 8 does not authorize Congress to enact any laws it claims are in the “general Welfare” of the United States. The phrase is a preamble, an introductory paragraph to the enumerated powers that follow. It sets forth the requirement that all laws passed by Congress in pursuance of the enumerated powers of the Constitution shall also be in the general Welfare of the United States. This was affirmed by James Madison when he wrote: “With respect to the words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” In other words, why bother to "enumerate" a specific list of powers if the phrase "general welfare" means congress gets to decide what ever it wants.

Unfortunately, in the 1936 Supreme Court case US v. Butler, the supreme court held, "...The clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated." About a year later, citing the Butler case as precedent, the court held in Helvering v. Davis, (constitutionality of the Social Security Act in a questionable 5-4 decision) that: “Congress may spend money to aid in the ‘general welfare.’ There have been great statesmen in our history who have stood for other views. We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision…"

This has set the stage for what we have now: a congress totally unconstrained by the enumerated powers - a condition completely opposite of what the founders intended. It has set conditions that threaten the very distinguishing characteristic of American civilization - one where centralized power is subordinate to individual liberty, and it has driven us to the edge of financial ruin. Take a look at a federal spending chart, adjusted for inflation and as a percent of GDP, from the founding of our country until now. Look at what happens to the line in the late 1930s.

Either a new supreme court ruling overturning Butler and Helvering is needed, or a amendment to the constitution defining "general welfare" is required. As it is, congress gets to decide for itself whether or not something is in the general welfare. The enumerated powers are effectively meaningless.

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Satirical 4 years, 5 months ago

Anyone wonder why Obama isn't touting Massachusetts as a model for mandatory healthcare? Or even mentioning it in the debate. Surely if it were so successful the Dems would be all over it.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

"Clear thinking people see that congress is much more eager to spend our grandchildren's money and run up even more national debt than threaten the goose that lays the golden campaign finance eggs."

Gee - welcome to the party. You know, some of us have been working against this GOP corruption from the inside for a decade. Most have now left the party, which is probably why Repubs now poll as around 20% of the voters - and dropping rapidly. Strange thing though: no tea-partiers all those years. Just after January 20th. Hmmm....wonder what the significance of that date was.

Sorry, while I'm not a fan of the Dem's proposal here, I don't think that spending our grandchildren's money ON the GRANDCHIDREN is exactly the equivalent of the Great Fascist War or the Armageddon. Nor do I stand in shock when Obama is forced to take radical steps to clean up the unprecedented mess things have been left in. And I'm not determined to take the country into default rather than raise taxes because I was among the few actually complaining about spending before and pointing out that the earlier 'good times' were the time to raise more revenue and pay-off debt. Now, we have to spend money in the short run, raise taxes anyway, and come up with radical spending cuts for the long run - all while turning water into wine too. Thanks W!

So, again, welcome to club. Just remember that you're on probation as a result of your unapologetic past history.

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Bob Harvey 4 years, 5 months ago

Average states, "As a result, no state can implement something approaching universal health care on its own. People would work in states without universal care (and presumably lower taxes) and, as soon as diagnosed with a serious disease, leave for the state with UHC who can't refuse them."

I believe you might find some disagreement with the State of Massachusetts. Unless, of course, you were talking about the chaos that is going on in that state's health care since mandated coverage was imposed.

Nothing further, since someone earlier so aptly stated...there is very little diaglog going on, just typical name calling and sarcasm. Regrettable.

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

tbaker, what is your interpretation of "promote the general Welfare"?

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jimmyjms 4 years, 5 months ago

"Collectivist ideologues like him are threatened by any division of power - like the one that separates the states from the federal government. He craves the absolute central government, and is scared when states forcefully reassert their constitutional rights over the Fedzilla he adores. He doesn't realize our political system was designed around the concept that people are to govern themselves. He represents yet another hapless serf who demonstrates their willingness to accept political dictatorship, so long as the federal government will only furnish them with periodic handouts and at least mascaraed as benevolent as it orders their daily lives. Good luck with that."

Uh, yeah. That or I don't see the spectre of "political dictatorship" behind every door.

You're a hack, T. A paranoid hack. In no way does the proposed health care reform infringe on state sovereignty.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

My ilk? Surely you jest Jimo. Do I have to tell you about the hazards involved when you assume so much about a person you don't know, or is doing that the only way you can get your point across?. In case you've missed it, I believe organized political parties are ruinous to our liberty, and believe (like most of the founders did) that they should be out-lawed. They exist to serve themselves - not us. Examples abound.

No solutions? Totally committed to not finding a solution? That is pure hubris Jimo. You either didn't read my post, or you're stuck in an ideological feed-back loop. I offered four. There are many more. These ideas are not only very old, they are all free - no tax money required. These and many others have all been proposed as amendments to one or more of the five HC bills currently being debated. They've all been defeated because they do harm to some special interest that donates heavily to one or both parties political campaigns. Wake up!

Consider for a moment why congress is so eager to spend money our country doesn't have as opposed to implementing a reform that is free? Doesn't that sound insane to you? Given our country's dire financial situation, why wouldn't they try all of the "free" ideas first?

People on the far left would say it's because "only" the federal government can fix HC. Empowering individual people, and the free market cannot. People on the far right will say it is a liberal take over of 1/6th of our economy setting the stage for socialism in America.

Clear thinking people see that congress is much more eager to spend our grandchildren's money and run up even more national debt than threaten the goose that lays the golden campaign finance eggs.

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Satirical 4 years, 5 months ago

Jimo…

I like the way you think. If Americans really cared about freedom, the Revolutionary War wouldn’t have taken so long to get started!

The Republicans had a non-filibuster proof majority in Congress and had the Executive branch from 2000- 2006, they should have been able to do anything they want. Since they didn’t get any government takeover passed, it must mean they don’t care. Any problems that are in our society should squarely be on their shoulders.

While, yes, it is true the Dems are now and have been in control simultaneously of both the Legislative and Executive branches before, I think it would be unfair to blame them for any problems in our government or society. I think I will claim they couldn’t get their agenda passed because Republicans were being obstructionist… yeah, that’s the ticket.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

"Why do people assume those of us who oppose the federal government doing something our constitution doesn't permit is synonymous with not caring about people without health care?"

Uh...because they don't care.

Look, neither I nor anyone else can look into the hearts of the raving loons. But considering your ilk just finished up roughly a decade in total control of all three branches of government, you'd think that your "caring about people without health care" would have resulted in at least a failed attempt to solve the problem. What did we get instead? Absolutely freakin nothin!

Indeed, considering that the GOP is famously the "party of small business" I cannot think of anything that would explain Republicans' complete refusal to address one of the top business concerns out there - out of control health insurance - except animus against the "losers" who die every day because they don't have health coverage.

I think we've learned something today. I think we've learned that you didn't have a solution, don't have a solution, and are totally committed to not finding a solution. But hey, if you say you care, someone has to believe you, right, P.T. Barnum?

So, in the words of the Immortal One: stop complaining about other's approaches and grab a mop.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

More ignorant horse squeeze from Jimmy. I feel sorry for him. He has been blinded. Collectivist ideologues like him are threatened by any division of power - like the one that separates the states from the federal government. He craves the absolute central government, and is scared when states forcefully reassert their constitutional rights over the Fedzilla he adores. He doesn't realize our political system was designed around the concept that people are to govern themselves. He represents yet another hapless serf who demonstrates their willingness to accept political dictatorship, so long as the federal government will only furnish them with periodic handouts and at least mascaraed as benevolent as it orders their daily lives. Good luck with that.

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jimmyjms 4 years, 5 months ago

"Since it seems intent on violating the 10th amendment, states have to do something to protect their sovereignty."

Lord, some people are too stupid to be allowed out of the house.

Tbaker is example #4,080.

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Satirical 4 years, 5 months ago

While there are many ignorant comments made liberals, such as Republicans trying to prevent people from getting health care; (would you say the same if Republicans voted against mandatory car insurance? or voted against requiring individuals buy a gun?) but I only wanted to address the issue of the Supremacy clause.

Even an obscure federal law trumps a state constitution, so what I want to know is what is the purpose of this law? This article makes it appear that this legislation is aimed at preventing a federal requirement that individuals must purchase health care. However, it seems much more likely that this is an attempt to stop any state law which would require the same. The latter makes complete sense, the former makes none.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Somebody please tell me where our constitution says the federal government is supposed to "provide" health care for citizens. It doesn't.

Why do people assume those of us who oppose the federal government doing something our constitution doesn't permit is synonymous with not caring about people without health care? That is a crock of fecal matter.

Where on earth did the idea come from that some one else is responsible for my health care? The government, my employer, anyone but me. Why won't the government give me plumbing insurance? Why do I have to pay to have my pipes fixed?

Pass laws that allow the sale of health insurance across state lines, do some tort reform, give individuals the same health care tax deduction employers get, let health care providers write-off the cost of providing free health care to the indigent, force pharmacies to advertise prescription drug prices - none of these things cost the tax payers a dime. We already have health care for those who can't afford it. It's called MEDICADE. Get a clue liberals.

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BrianR 4 years, 5 months ago

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a who's who of the corporate feudal lords.

I'm sure these women would gladly pay the medical bills of uninsured Kansans since they seem to know what's best.

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getreal 4 years, 5 months ago

I have to laugh as these three women travel the state protected by their tax-payer paid health care plans. Surely these women will want to opt out of their government run health care plan immediately that our tax dollars provide for them. Let the Koch family pay for their health insurance, they aren't working for the people they are working for Koch owned and operated Americans for Prosperity.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 5 months ago

Hey, if obama and all of washington isn't required to buy it, why should I? I make this pledge; when they come up with the same health control policy that will cover the President and all of the Washington government, it'll have my support!

I'll sure be looking forward to seeing that pig fly...

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

If 3 million healthy insured dropped their policies in the next two weeks not only would they save thousands of dollars the insurance industry would faint in disbelief that this many people actually are awake and give a damn.

Sooner or later another few million would do the same. Suddenly all of america would realize the medical insurance business has been doing nothing but making tons and tons of profit by way of fear mongering.

At that point all would see that america could have insurance at a much much lower rate such as 225 a month for the best coverage in the world that includes the entire family.

Makes dollars and sense to me. More money to invest smart instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Maybe get on with that home improvement with cash instead of borrowing from the bank.....just maybe.

Maybe go to Jamaica for a few weeks instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

The nations consumers could have excellent National Health insurance for all.if one would remove CORRUPTION: elected officials as shareholders special interest campaign funding the insurance industry recklessly spending health care dollars to bribe votes the news media offering misinformation ( their large advertising revenue is at stake)

Remember it is the most expensive medical insurance in the world that denies care and/or cancels coverage after taking ones money for years and years. National Health Insurance for All would not allow such arrogance.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

National Health Insurance ends deductibles and co-payments and would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

National Health Insurance for All (HR 676) http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Doctors for Single Payer(HR 676) http://www.pnhp.org/

Unions for HR 676 http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/union_endorsers

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676 http://www.pnhp.org/action/organizations_and_government_bodies_endorsing_hr_676.php

Health Care In the USA http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

Consumer Reports On Health Care http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/health_reform/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

For all the lovers of the most expensive medical insurance industry in the world...you likely were among the ripped off by the industry you worship.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee. This Story

The report was part of a multi-pronged assault on the credibility of private insurers by Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). It came at a time when Rockefeller, President Obama and others are seeking to offer a public alternative to private health plans as part of broad health-care reform legislation. Health insurers are doing everything they can to block the public option.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies."

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

"The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable -- publicly accountable -- health-care option," said Wendell Potter, who until early last year was vice president for corporate communications at the big insurer Cigna.

Potter said he worries "that the industry's charm offensive, which is the most visible part of duplicitous and well-financed PR and lobbying campaigns, may well shape reform in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average Americans."

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

This is all garbage by a group taking their orders from Washington D C

Neither the republicans nor the most expensive medical insurance industry on the planet have the ability manage the most expensive medical insurance in the world. For 2010 the new dollar number for medical insurance is $18,310 ..... up 25% over 2009. Yep that's real management

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JHOK32 4 years, 5 months ago

This is nothing more than more Republican rhetoric to try & do anything they can possibly do to stain Obama's image. If these people would have spent the previous 8 years trying to help the sick and needy people they represent by getting them some type of healthcare or health insurance perhaps we wouldn't even be arguing this issue right now! By the way, what happenned to all those thousands of Kansans that received NO HELP from the wonderful Republican Party when they were at the ends of their ropes with sickness, cancer, Dr. bills, hospital bills, prescriptions that cost hundreds of dollars a month, etc, etc, etc, what did the Reds do for them? ...........................NOTHING! And thats exactly what they want to do for you Kansans again over the next 4 years.......................NOTHING!

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texburgh 4 years, 5 months ago

It's good to have Kansas Republicans willing to stand up and protect us from health insurance. By God, if you don't earn enough to buy your own from one of the insurance monopoly boys, you don't deserve it. And isn't it good that Americans for Prosperity - that Washington, DC M Street-based gang that gets so much funding from the anti-government Koch brothers - was kind enough to provide these folk a bus to run around the state. And isn't it extra nice that you and I pay $471.50 each month for each of these legislators so that they can have government funded health insurance.

The Republican Party - the home for hypocrites.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Gareth - The growth is not in moderates, and no, they are not in the majority - not according to Gallup anyway - but who knows if you like Gallup. It seems discrediting a poll result on this blog amounts to little more than personal preference, so you'll either accept it or not.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/123854/conservatives-maintain-edge-top-ideological-group.aspx

I'm not familiar with the definition of "moderate" you are using. The president is one of the most liberal politicians ever to serve in federal office. Heres the most non-partisan evidence I can find and there is a lot of it.

http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Barack_Obama.htm

Effective dialog requires respect for the truth as well.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 5 months ago

The point is in the last line of the article.

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

tbaker-- the "growth" is in moderates not conservatives. The moderates have always been the majority. And guess what -- moderates aren't the ones backing nullifaction arguments and 'state's rights' BS.

Here's another shocker for you: Obama is a moderate, not a liberal (which is why liberals like me find so much of what he's doing to be a disappointment.). He's a moderate by almost every measure -- except in the eyes of the wingnut base and their enablers. To whom he's a "socialist." (Which actual socialists find friggin' hilarious.)

But you're right about one thing -- actual dialog requires respect.

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

that right there sounds objective... (sarc)

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Dialog requires respect for the opinions of others Tony. Thats often pretty tough to find around here. Half the people come here in search of an anonymous venue to legitimize baseless personal attacks born of blind allegiance to their failed ideologies. The other half come to read them and laugh.

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

all, why is it a competition rather than a dialog?

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Adherents of the Lost Cause huh Gareth?

Have you ever wondered why 40% of the country self -identifies as conservative, but only 20% of the country claims to liberal? How does that square with the polls that show only 20% of the population is republican?

Which metric should liberals / democrats be most concerned with? The obvious suicide of the republican party, or the 2:1 and growing independent conservative majority?

Republicans should get over it. They got what they deserved. They are a rudderless ship.

Independents (who control the outcome of elections) have been awakened alright. Dead enders? Watch and see what happens the next time the people have ballots in front of them. The lefties need to get out and enjoy it while they can.

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Gareth 4 years, 5 months ago

Gosh....The Republican party has reduced down to the point where its base is in the South and rural Midwest, basically taking over the old Dixiecrat constituency....

And now Republican lawmakers are pushing "state's rights" and Nullifaction arguments that have been over since the South got it's ass handed to it 140+ years ago (and then again when they tried the same tired garbage 45 years ago).

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Dead enders. Adherents of the Lost Cause.

Wake up, guys. You LOST. Get over it.

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

Our resident sufferer of Kuru disease and his acolytes insist local government hasn't the wherewithal to "provide" for people like the federal government has.

Herein lies the problem: The poor liberals on this site have been deprived of a basic education in the American model of government (no doubt the result of government-ran school system) They fail to realize that American government is designed first and foremost to be a protector of individual liberty and the human and civil rights necessary to guarantee it.

The American model of government's very distant second role is to "provide" a very narrow list of things contained in the enumerated powers. Beyond these very specific functions, the federal government is NOT designed to "provide" for individual Americans. People are to "provide" for themselves, with the federal government clearing the way for them to do so within it's enumerated powers.

Sadly, this construct doesn't fit the liberal narrative that most Americans are victims of this or that sinister elite, and aren't competent to cope with life's complexities without government supervision, hence their insistence that only the federal government can / should be solving all of our country's problems. They utterly reject the idea that people, when encumbered by the government, can and should be taking care of themselves.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 5 months ago

Leave it to the republicans to see that we are all free from health care!

Actually, I wonder if their insurance industry puppeteers approved this. Does this mean if my doctor says I need a drug or procedure, but the insurance company doesn't want to cover it, that I'm still covered?

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ferrislives 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm just messin' with you Tom;-)

Carry on with the anti-Obama rhetoric.

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porch_person 4 years, 5 months ago

TomShewmon,

Give it up. You're beaten. When you get reoriented to the past and the present and start dreaming of a world where the rejected policies of the Bush Administration magically regain a legitimacy they never had, you're done.

(laughter)

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parrotuya 4 years, 5 months ago

Delusional Repugs pretending that they represent the people when, in reality, they are shills for the big corporations and oligarchs. A true waste of legislative time.

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 5 months ago

Again, porch, are you not watching the upcoming election forecasts? For governors? For congresspersons? Keep thinking what you think. I could care less. Can congress or Obama afford to see 40 seats lost from a party stability standpoint? Can Obama take the humiliation of losing staunch Dem states to a Repub gov.? What's that say about Obama? And in a very short time?

(laughter)

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 5 months ago

Except I don't wear a tie.....sorta looks like Louie DePalma.

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puddleglum 4 years, 5 months ago

is it health care reform? or is it health care INSURANCE fraud reform?

we need to call it what it is.

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Jimo 4 years, 5 months ago

What a shocking story! A Healthcare Freedom Amendment. What might this Amendment propose? Apparently, Not A Single Person Knows!!!

Dear Editor, you're paid to edit stories until they are ready for publication. Pulling copy off the AP, which apparently has no journalism standards whatsoever, isn't editing. Any plagiarist in junior high could do a better job of cut-and-paste.

In reality, the Healthcare Freedom movement is brought to you by Dick Armey, the old GOP House leader, and funded by the radical Koch family. It isn't about health care let alone freedom but rather a partisan attempt to encourage states to engage in an unconstitutional form of rebellion called Nullification, an age-old theory that states can "nullify" federal laws they don't like. It is and has always been unconstitutional. (Hey, but at least it's more high-brow than death panels.)

Would that LJW had bothered to inform its readers of any of that.

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porch_person 4 years, 5 months ago

Tom,

If America has a "bad taste in its mouth", how come Obama's approval rating is fourteen points higher than the Republicans? The Democrats are five and a half points ahead of the Republicans. Those numbers contradict your opinion.

Do you know where you are, Tom? What day it is?

(laughter)

If America has a "bad taste in its mouth", how come only 20% of the population identifies itself as "Republican"?

(laughter)

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 5 months ago

The more The Messiah, his minions, Pelosi and Reid usurp power, the more of this kind of thing you'll see. Amazing in such a short period of time how this cabal of ultra-leftists have put a bad taste in America's mouth. Kind of like wearing out a brand new set of tires in about 10 months. Not normal.

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solsken66 4 years, 5 months ago

Look at the City of Lawrence paying their sanitation workers for eight hours with full benefits when they only work five hours. Have the people of Lawrence voiced their opinion on this abuse?

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solsken66 4 years, 5 months ago

The state needs to worry about working within a balanced budget instead of spending more than the taxpayers' pay into the system. The state has no money, but keeps spending as if there is a blank cheque. I guess it is better to have smoke screens and smoke than actually making hard decisions. Enact furloughs which would protect jobs at the state level, but enable the state to cut expenses. Many companies have closed, cut personnel, or reduced hours. Recovery from the recession is going to take more than a just few months.

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boltzmann 4 years, 5 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… "The more local government is, the better it tends to be."

That sounds nice in theory, but is not necessarily true in practice. It depends a lot on the quality of the local government and on the reasonableness of local mores. In the 60s, we saw in the south that "local control" just meant segregation and overt discrimination.

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average 4 years, 5 months ago

The problem with total state/local health care policy is in the 14th Amendment's first section. No state can keep any American out, and they have to treat them the same as any other citizen of that state.

As a result, no state can implement something approaching universal health care on its own. People would work in states without universal care (and presumably lower taxes) and, as soon as diagnosed with a serious disease, leave for the state with UHC who can't refuse them.

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beobachter 4 years, 5 months ago

Why can't these legislators work on solving the state's real problems?

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porch_person 4 years, 5 months ago

Libertarians and "anti-statists".......

(laughter)

Don't you just love them!!

(laughter)

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

" The more local government is, the better it tends to be."

Does that mean you want to dismantle all branches of the US military, and replace them with township and county militias?

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Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 5 months ago

Sorry tbaker, but that is a joke, right? The biggest amount of waste is not at the federal level, its the state and local level. There is nothing in any of the health care reforms that would keep a patient from consulting with their own doctor. This is just a waste of time and money to grandstand on a strawman.

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porch_person 4 years, 5 months ago

tbaker,

"The more local government is, the better it tends to be." --- tbaker

Except when the local government does not have the resources to provide for its citizens or the resources to fight predatory business practices.

That's the cynical aspect of your comment.

When you can't defeat health care reform on a national level, claim it's a "10th Amendment" issue and fight it in states that don't have the resources to withstand the dishonest public relations campaign the health care insurance industry has thrown at this effort.

No one is taking any sovereignty away from any state, that's hyperbole and insane. That's akin to claiming that end of life care is "death panels".

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tbaker 4 years, 5 months ago

The more local government is, the better it tends to be. The legislature would not be doing this if the federal government was confined to it's constitutional role. Since it seems intent on violating the 10th amendment, states have to do something to protect their sovereignty.

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porch_person 4 years, 5 months ago

I third it. This legislation is good but redundant. I think it's being done to fuel the anti-health care reform.

"Well, Kansas had to enact legislation to ensure that we would get to talk with our own doctors. There must have been something in Obama's legislation that prohibited that. Musta been."

That's how it works.

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preebo 4 years, 5 months ago

I second that, rbwaa.

Furthermore, they are liars. Nowhere in any of the current legislation being debated in Congress is there language keeping citizens from consulting with their own doctors.

I challenge those Kansas residents who support real healthcare reform to contact these three representatives and let them know that Kansans support real, meaningful healthcare reform.

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rbwaa 4 years, 5 months ago

What a waste of legislative time!

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