Archive for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Proposed constitutional amendment to block federal health care reform considered

February 9, 2010, 3:09 p.m. Updated February 9, 2010, 4:59 p.m.

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State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, in foreground, on Tuesday spoke at a hearing on her proposed constitutional amendment that she said was needed to prevent the federal government from requiring that Kansans purchase health insurance.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, in foreground, on Tuesday spoke at a hearing on her proposed constitutional amendment that she said was needed to prevent the federal government from requiring that Kansans purchase health insurance.

State Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, (standing), spoke on Tuesday in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that asserts that the federal government cannot require Kansans to have health insurance. From left to right (seated) are state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and state Sens. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, and Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka.

State Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, (standing), spoke on Tuesday in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that asserts that the federal government cannot require Kansans to have health insurance. From left to right (seated) are state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and state Sens. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, and Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka.

— Opponents of federal programs on Tuesday pushed for an amendment to the state constitution that they said would prevent the federal government from forcing Kansans to have health insurance.

About 10 people testified in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1626, saying Democratic health reform pending in Congress was unconstitutional because it would require that Kansans have health coverage.

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, described her amendment as “calling on the Kansas state legislators to protect the freedom of Kansas citizens when it comes to their freedom in choosing their health care as they see fit.”

Several of the proposed amendment’s supporters criticized President Barack Obama, Medicare and illegal immigration.

Paul Degener of rural Shawnee County said, “Our federal government is our own worst enemy. It continues to grow and gets more dictatorial.” Degener said he was on Medicare, but didn’t like it. He said people should be allowed to deal directly with their doctor even if that meant paying with chickens.

The Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity also supports the proposed constitutional amendment.

But Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, spoke against the measure. He said congressional health reforms under consideration “will provide more Kansans with access to care and a means to pay for that care.” There are currently an estimated 300,000 Kansans without health care coverage.

And Dr. Ira Stamm, a Topeka psychologist, said a requirement that everyone have insurance was needed “for Americans to have the lowest possible insurance premiums.”

The hearing was held before a joint meeting of the House and Senate health committees. No action was taken. If approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate, the measure would be put before Kansas voters in November.

Comments

gccs14r 5 years, 5 months ago

Really? You have nothing better to do than be stupid in public? What's next, deciding that oxygen in the air is a liberal conspiracy to make us all breathe?

WHY 5 years, 5 months ago

Paul, if you can find a doctor who will take chickens good for you, but I want a real doctor. I would also like to trade health care plans with you. I have the "I hope I don't get sick plan." Yours will do just fine.

frank mcguinness 5 years, 5 months ago

"Degener said he was on Medicare, but didn’t like it"

Hypocrisy at it's best.

Same with all of the legislators that are on state funded health care but say that average joe can't have it.

Here's a plan, why don't you create an ammendment that drops all elected officials from their gov't funded healthcare.

WHY 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh and one other thing. The tail doesn't wag the dog and the State doesn't tell the Feds what to do. Do you really think the federal government will care what Kansas does.

beawolf 5 years, 5 months ago

I moved here from Minnesota. I thought they were the looniest state government in the nation. Wrong. Kansas makes their politics seem like Utopia.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

This needs to be cited again and again and again, because it is indicative of the debate.

Nobody is actually upset about government health care, they are just upset that somebody else might start getting it, too.

They want government health care all to themselves.

Paul Degener of rural Shawnee County said, “Our federal government is our own worst enemy. It continues to grow and gets more dictatorial.” Degener said he was on Medicare, but didn’t like it. He said people should be allowed to deal directly with their doctor even if that meant paying with chickens.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

"Proposed constitutional amendment to block federal mandate to buy insurance considered" There, I fixed it for you.

SnakeFist 5 years, 5 months ago

"Degener said he was on Medicare, but didn’t like it."

Yet another hypocritical conservative.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 5 months ago

This Degener guy is delusional. This is the kind of rhetoric upon which this bill is based? Lord help us all.

"Degener said he was on Medicare, but didn’t like it." Last I knew, you aren't forced to use medicare. Paul, maybe you should opt out of medicare and see much medical care you can get with your chickens. Idiot.

beatrice 5 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how many chickens it would take to have a knee-replacement, or possibly an open-heart surgery?

I'm thinking it would be a lot of chickens.

Pay with chickens! -- what an idiot. Degener is a fool, and he is playing with the possibility of denying people medical care access for petty political gain. He isn't looking to improve anything.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 5 months ago

I am no big fan of some of the parts of the proposed "health care" legislation, but if elected idiots in Kansas think that they are going to block the Federal Government, they obviously have not read the history of the Civil War. Is this what we elect and pay these mental midgets for, dreaming up utterly useless drivel when the state is claiming poverty and cutting off funding to vital and needed rosources? Gads, how did we ever let these loons into the state government?

Jim Phillips 5 years, 5 months ago

Judging from the comments, there must be a large number of people living in this town who live on government handouts. I can't help but wonder if they would feel the same way if they were the payors rather than the payees.

frank mcguinness 5 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me this whole state is run by red green.

Bunch of dumb hicks who have mustered up enough capacity to recite even dumber talking points.

pace 5 years, 5 months ago

The NO parties plan is to not change a thing, well except they would like to get the higher risk people, the elderly or ill off their group plan. hey, can we cancel their public funded health care. The only people this No plan will hurt is everyone but stock holders and those on the graft.

werekoala 5 years, 5 months ago

Like the sign some idiot was carrying at the town hall meetings:

"Keep the government out of Medicare!"

Y'know what, though? I say we take him up on it. Let's allow anyone over 65 who finds the awful burden of Medicare too oppressive to opt out of it. We'll even stop taxing them for it. Because Medicare is about 14% of the federal budget, and even if your annual income is $50,000 (high for most seniors), you pay $9,000 in federal tax. 14% of that is $1,260.

And while twelve hundred dollars IS an awful lot of chickens, good luck getting quality medical care for $100 a month. I pay twice that just in employee contributions for myself and my wife, and we're a lot healthier and younger.

In fact, he should probably just shut up, since my wife and I are paying for his medical care too. I hear Somalia is nice this time of year, and no pesky gubbermint regulations making life tough for rugged individualists like himself...

Sunny Parker 5 years, 5 months ago

I say more power to them!

My taxes pay for way too many handouts for losers who won't take care of themselves!

I should not have to pay for your healthcare or health insurance!

Obama is stealing from the American people and he should be sentenced to prison for theft!

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

"porch, why are you arguing with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison about the interpretation of the Constitution? Are you that much of a fool?"

That was, of course, a rhetorical question, the answer to which has been proven over and over.

Keith 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah porch, why are you arguing with Jefferson and Madison, they've been dead for hundreds of years and don't have much to offer these days.

gccs14r 5 years, 5 months ago

One of the great things about the founders was that they knew they didn't know everything. They certainly didn't know what the future would bring, which is why they created the Constitution as a malleable document.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says…

One of the great things about the founders was that they knew they didn't know everything. They certainly didn't know what the future would bring, which is why they created the Constitution as a malleable document.

That wasn't Jefferson and Madison.

That was Marshall.

This is a convenient point strict constructionists like Liberty_One choose to ignore. In their minds, John Marshall never happened. That's a shame, because their interpretations really only mattered in this nation for fewer than 20 years. I, for one, choose to embrace the following 200 years of our nation's history.

republicanblack 5 years, 5 months ago

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 5 months ago

This is happening nation wide.

This is exactly what happens when elected representatives stop listening to their constituents.

IT is a wonder than congressmen and senators have not been shot to date.

feeble 5 years, 5 months ago

in other news, Anthem Blue Cross is hiking personal insurance premiums by 39%.

The insurance coipany blamed the increase on a shrinking pool of younger, healthier policy holders.

Mixolydian 5 years, 5 months ago

This is just stupid.

True. Absolutely true. Without reservation true.... either bill in the House or the Senate would be disasters for our country.

But to amend our state constitution in response to federal bills that, in all liklihood (and thank God) will not be enacted is just stupid.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

"About 10 people testified in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1626, saying Democratic health reform pending in Congress was unconstitutional because it would require that Kansans have health coverage."

If it's already unconstitutional, why is a constitutional amendment needed?

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

Bob, what's worse is that in your mind Jefferson and Madison never happened. Why have laws at all if they are so meaningless?

You don't understand US history at all.

Like most ridiculous partisans, you think it is a choice between Jefferson and Madison and 211 years since then.

It is not a choice. It is both. Stop ignoring the latter, for your own sake.

FWIW, even if I was arguing that Jefferson and Madison didn't matter, it would not be worse than your asinine dismissal of US history from the Marshall Court going forward.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

"Like most ridiculous partisans, you think it is a choice between Jefferson and Madison and 211 years since then."

Of course it doesn't matter. I'm buying a couple of slaves tomorrow.

true_patriot 5 years, 5 months ago

I see Pilgrim doesn't understand what balance of powers is, but then neither did George Bush - they had to bring in a tutor to explain the fundamentals of American government to him when they ran him the second time for Guv of Texas.

With Kansas facing a crisis of massive proportions, it is the highest from of dereliction of duty for Congress to be wasting time on such a backwards attempt to block reform of the most unsustainable and broken health care system of all developed countries. As a nation we pay the most for and get the least return on the dollar for our health care, and are way down the rankings with other first-world nations in such critical measures as infant mortality.

Whatever happened to the drive for America to be a leader in the world? Our collective ignorance and post-911 corrosive and polarizing mindset is making it even harder to try to regain our competitive foothold in the world, from jobs to education to health care, and they are all interrelated.

Every hour counts. Congress, summon up at least a vestige of responsibility and do the people's work and quit hiding behind the apron and wasting our money on frivolous, ideologically extreme concerns because you're facing a difficult situation and don't have the fortitude to tackle it head-on and do what is best for everyone.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 5 months ago

@ Liberty_One

You've been watching too much Glenn Beck, buddy. Ask Jefferson and Madison? Sounds like you're a few beers short of a six-pack.

@ true_patriot

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe they can add one more amendment to the constitution. As long as the president didn't win majority vote in our state, he's not our president. Well, we can do anything to the constitution.... just amend it. So why are some Republicans and Libertarians hanging on to the constitution so tightly when they know they can change it anytime they like?

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 5 months ago

@ livingstone

It sounds better for them to say "We support the Constitution" rather than "we're scared of change".

MyName 5 years, 5 months ago

Ugh, fix the dang budget! Deal with this Healthcare stuff if and when it actually gets to you.

salad 5 years, 5 months ago

Quick!!! Lets spend our time solving a problem that doesn't exist!!! The R's are gonna need a baler for all that political hay they're makin'.

Mary Sucha 5 years, 5 months ago

Paul Degener - Guess what Paul, you can disenroll from medicare parts b, c, and d. Contact CMMS and they can help get you off of medicare.

I assume this amendment would also prevent Kansas residents from getting Medicare part A.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says… Our country is already trillions of dollars in debt and these morons in DC want to add yet another huge entitlement program? ============================================ Our country is always trillions of dollars in debt. Nobody seems to care if the money gets spent on missiles and tanks. When was the last time the country wasn't in debt?

Oh yeah, some guy named Clinton cleared that up a few years back...

rhd99 5 years, 5 months ago

All of you proponents of Obama Care, tell me why I should support individual mandates. What are the benefits behind these stupid mandates? So far, no politician as been able to sell the reason why individual mandates are good for this country. For what purpose do they serve? Well, Obama supporters..........? Do you have an answer? I think not.

gogoplata 5 years, 5 months ago

I love it. Great Idea. Tell the Feds to take a hike. I'd like to see more of this attitude. But at the same time our state is considering making it legal for a cop to pull you over simply for not having on your seat belt. So I still don't have a lot of faith in them.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 5 months ago

Lets amend the Constitution every time we disagree

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 5 months ago

It only took Clinton 8 years, so it's not impossible. We've spent a lot of money on Obama's watch so far, but I expect that will soon be coming to an end.

I think it's one of the good things about a two party system. One side will never let the other get things too far onto their side. The best presidents seem to be the "middle-walkers". They do things that are characteristic of both sides.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

No, they have lower life expectancy when you take out things like our higher homicide rate and highway car accident deaths.

Because of their government-run healthcare, the survival rate from attempted homicide and highway car accidents is higher.

Why would you take those out?

Jeremy DeBoard 5 years, 5 months ago

Auto insurance is required by anyone who owns a vehicle. How is being required to have health insurance truly going to be worse? If I paid the same or near the same for health insurance as I do for auto insurance, I'd be a happy camper indeed. And that's without even considering a government sponsored system of insurance, which I doubt I would buy into.

SirReal 5 years, 5 months ago

newsflash Kansas, you can't supercede the federal government.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

Bob_Keeshan (Anonymous) says…

“Why would you take those out?”

Because homicide rates and car accidents have nothing to do with the quality of health care, but they do lower the average life expectancy.

They have plenty to do with the quality of health care.

If the quality of health care is poor, you are less likely to survive an attempted homicide or car accident.

Homicides and car accident deaths aren't instantaneous. Plenty of people survive attempted homicides and car accidents.

In other countries, more people survive. Gotta leave those in.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

whatthehell (Anonymous) says…

“Liberty and others…. Is there even one shining example of health care and for-profit health care insurance that are running efficiently in a free market system? Anywhere?”

No, there were in the past, but I guess you have disdain for any examples that are more than 80 years old.

Are you advocating for leeches?

I assume you still travel in a horse and buggy, given you have disdain for anything that is newer than 80 years old.

rhd99 5 years, 5 months ago

Auto insurance is ONLY required if you buy a car or drive on the road. Health insurance mandates are unnecessary & stupid & unconstitutional. What the heck does auto insurance have anything to do with this stupid health care debate that includes these stupid individual mandates?

Sparko 5 years, 5 months ago

Kansans suffer disproportionately in health care because of how poor the state is. The simple fact is Kansas is desperate for single payer of medicare for all type insurance plan. More than half of Kansas has no health insurance or is minimally covered. They attack unions, health care for all, and fair wages every day in the name of Tea Parties. The tea party movement is just Exxon, Wal-Mart and Aetna triple-teaming you into an early grave. Sad. What is the matter with Kansas? See Libertyone. A poor sad basement dweller looking for approval from his corporate masters. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One, you suggested a free market health care system from 80 years ago.

That isn't laws and policies, that is referencing a tangible product from 80 years ago.

What other tangible products from 80 years ago do you find relevant today?

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 5 months ago

Ah, so you hanker for the Gilded Age.

Wouldn't this exacerbate the unemployment situation, what with all the cheap child labor flooding the market? And how will our 21st century health care system handle all the injuries from our suddenly deregulated work environments?

For someone who is having a hard time clearly stating a position you are awfully dismissive.

jaywalker 5 years, 5 months ago

You da man, Liberty. Keep up the good work, bro.

9070811 5 years, 5 months ago

I still don't understand citizens who don't want to have health insurance that is included in their taxes. No dealing with insurance... the ability to see a doctor wherever you go.

gogoplata 5 years, 5 months ago

The problem I see with Storys interpretation of the GWC is that it doesn't seem to jive with the reasons the founders went to such great efforts in forming the constitution. If the Constitution was written to establish a Federal Government and at the same time limit the power of that Government going so far as to specifically list the powers of the Governnment why would they have included a GWC and ICC that gives them a loophole to regulate anything? That doesn't make sense to me. The 18th and 21st ammendments show that Government even in the last century understood there were limits on its power and had to ammend the constitution to increase its authority. If this health care reform is so vital I think it should be introduced as an ammendment to the constitution. If the GWC and the ICC can be used to justify so many things for the Federal Government its like the constitution is almost meaningless.

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