Archive for Thursday, February 11, 2010

Health care dissent

An amendment to the Kansas Constitution isn’t the best way to protest pending federal health care legislation.

February 11, 2010


Like all Americans, Kansas legislators have a right to express their displeasure with federal health care proposals that currently are on the table. However, a Senate resolution seeking a constitutional amendment exempting Kansas from any federal health insurance mandate isn’t the best way to express that displeasure.

If lawmakers believe the federal health care law or any other federal law is unconstitutional, the way to challenge it is through the courts. Determining the constitutionality of federal laws is the job of America’s judicial branch. Of course, it would be premature to pursue court action until a health care bill actually passes, but the same could be said of taking the drastic step of amending the state constitution to address a problem that doesn’t currently exist. Unless Kansas legislators are considering secession, amending the state constitution to defy federal laws also would be a dangerous precedent.

Dissent with the government is a well-established principle of American democracy, and our federal Constitution provides many strong avenues to express and pursue that dissent. However, pursuing an amendment to the Kansas constitution to protest possible federal legislation may not be the best use of legislators’ time.


Paul R Getto 8 years, 3 months ago

This latest legislative folly creates the illusion of activity and is an effective distraction from the real issue: Irresponsibility and lack of a call to duty. If these folks really were concerned by constitutional issues, they would read the Kansas version, particularly Article VI. Section 6.

sourpuss 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey, why doesn't Kansas just exempt itself entirely from "federal oppression"? Medicaid? Oppression. Social Security? Oppression. Interstate highways? Oppression? Child labor laws? Oppression. Anti-slavery laws? Oppression (for slavers, that is). Equal rights? Oppression. The U.S. Army bases? Oppression. The U.S. Air Force bases? Oppression.

I mean, Sweet Onion on a Bun, Kansas is being entirely oppressed! We need an amendment now to get the federal government out of our state. Those jerks in Washington don't do anything for us. I know, let's show them... let's stop electing representatives and senators and just go our own way. We can survive on our tourism dollars and fees we'll collect at the border to use our roads. We'll create jobs by all selling hamburgers to each other. It will be paradise at last!!

Centerville 8 years, 3 months ago

The best way to protest it will occur in November.

Ryan Neuhofel 8 years, 3 months ago

A suggestion for protesting the current health care system:

Opt-out (patients and doctors) of the managed care system (HMO, PPOs) and do health care directly whenever possible - primary, preventive, outpatient, minor, etc. The scope and power of so-called health 'insurance' companies exists ONLY because we filter 90% of our health care dollars through them (by design of Washington, BTW).

sourpuss 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't have a religion. I just think the American democracy would work better if people would be reasonable and stop using divisive, emotional language when discussing matters that require intelligence and moderation.

Washington isn't "oppressing" anyone. Some things are simply handled on a larger scale. Wal-mart is a good example of this; they keep prices low by buying and selling in volume. A certain amount of federalization is important to maintain a large country. The failure of the Articles of Confederation is an example of this.

I think many of the debates before the American people would be handled better if people would be willing to accept a compromise instead of digging in while the problems that precipitated the debate in the first place do not improve.

That's all.

texburgh 8 years, 3 months ago

Sourpuss - you forget the oppression we are suffering because the federal government is forcing NBAF down our throats. Oh, no, wait...the same Republicans who want to make sure we don't get health insurance reform begged for federal intervention in getting NBAF and for federal intervention in the BRAC. I think I see. REPUBLICAN federal intervention is economic development; DEMOCRATIC federal intervention is oppression.

Here's what's really fun to think about. Mary Pilcher-Kook gets her no federal health care reform passed; the R's get an upper hand in congress in Nov. and pass THEIR health care reform (the one Pilcher-Kook would like) and Kansans can't get it thanks to Pilcher-Kook's constitutional amendment!

mr_right_wing 8 years, 3 months ago

"Yesterday it was revealed by Pelosi’s health care adviser that they have developed a procedural “trick” to enact their government-run health care package. The “trick” would require the House to pass the Senate’s bill and rely on the Senate to pass requested changes to the bill through a rarely-used parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation. This would not only circumvent the normal rules of the Senate but, most importantly, would enact into law exactly what the American public has stated it doesn’t want – government-run health care!" --Americans for Prosperity

Don't talk to me about how it 'should' be done, our own government is using every sneaky tactic they can to pass this because they KNOW only a minority of Americans agree with the idea. Pass the amendment, exempt (and more importantly protect) Kansas!

WilburM 8 years, 3 months ago

That "sneaky" process is called legislating by a majority. Man, that's radical and underhanded!! If the Senate filibuster didn't keep clear majorities from governing, we'd have had a health care bill long ago. You want an anti-democratic process? Look no farther than the total abuse of the filibuster, which keeps a clear majority from winning a vote on the merits.

And for the Americans for Prosperity to be labeling anyting as "sneaky" is laughable.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 3 months ago

How about we take a look at the words "parliamentary" (the quote called it "parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation" vs. the word you used "democratic"....

parliamentary. 1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) of or characteristic of a parliament or Parliament, 2. (Law / Parliamentary Procedure) proceeding from a parliament or Parliament a parliamentary decree, 3. (Law / Parliamentary Procedure) conforming to or derived from the procedures of a parliament or Parliament parliamentary conduct. 4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) having a parliament or Parliament. 5. (Historical Terms) of or relating to Parliament or its supporters during the English Civil War. about that, nothing mentioned about the people, or the people's will, just the government... now let's look at "democratic"

  1. Of, characterized by, or advocating democracy: democratic government; a democratic union. 2. Of or for the people in general; popular: a democratic movement; democratic art forms. 3. Believing in or practicing social equality: "a proper democratic scorn for bloated dukes and lords" (George du Maurier). 4. Democratic Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Democratic Party.

Hey, now that definition talks about "people in general, popular" and "social equality". Now in Mass. the majority sent a message to the democratic party...your hero Nancy continues to block C-Spans access to the whole process regarding healthcare legislation even though your Idol Barak promised it -- the man is of course a liar; Pelosi even recently made an off-hand remark "yeah, he promised a lot of things..."

WilburM; what is going on is a far, far cry from 'democratic'. Take care of your own health care and keep your hands off mine (and ours). You are your own answer to most of your problems WilburM, not our government.

[[definitions from]]

Orwell 8 years, 3 months ago

The last time we had states claiming the power to decide which federal laws they'd follow there were 600,000 Americans killed by other Americans as a consequence. Great idea there, Sen. Pilcher Cook.

overthemoon 8 years, 3 months ago

There are two reasons public opinion has turned against health care reform.

  1. For a good number of those opposed to the current bill, they feel compromised plan as it stands today does far too little and benefits the insurance and drug industries more than it does the public.

  2. A very large number of people have fallen for the lies and misinformation about health care reform pushed by their republican do-nothing congresspeople and irresponsible 'news' sources like the Fox Republican Channel.

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