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Archive for Monday, February 22, 2010

Statehouse Live: Flint Hills burning resolution to be considered; NAACP opposes health care amendment

February 22, 2010, 9:18 a.m. Updated February 22, 2010, 3:04 p.m.

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— A legislative committee plans to hold a hearing on a measure that urges the Environmental Protection Agency to allow current grass burning practices in the Flint Hills.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1623 is scheduled for consideration Friday before the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

The resolution states “Because of the uniqueness of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie and the historic manner in which the tallgrass prairie has been managed by fire, existing prescribed burn practices should be allowed to continue without a federally prescribed smoke management plan.”

Annual burning of pastures during the springtime is a common occurrence in the Flint Hills.

But the burning has produced haze and pollution problems as smoke from the fires drifts northeast to the Kansas City-area, which has been struggling with ozone limits set by the EPA.

Some have suggested limiting the size of fires and setting them over a longer period of time. But ranchers say weather and grass conditions are suitable for burning only for a couple of weeks each year.

9:20 a.m.

The Kansas chapter of the NAACP has announced its opposition to a proposed state constitutional amendment aimed at blocking federal health care reforms that are under consideration.

“At a time when more than 300,000 Kansans are without health insurance, this amendment, which seeks to obstruct necessary reform measures and protects the practice of insurance companies discriminating against consumers, is wrong for our state and our nation,” said Kevin Myles, President of the Kansas State Conference of the NAACP.

The proposed amendment declares that no individual or business can be required to purchase health insurance or participate in a particular health care system. Supporters of the measure say it is needed to thwart mandates that are being considered in health care proposals before Congress. They say it is unconstitutional for the federal government to make this mandate.

The measure has been forwarded to the full Senate by the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. A proposed constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate before being placed on the ballot for voters to decide.

In the Senate, the measure has been sponsored by 16 Republicans. A similar proposal in the House has been sponsored by 43 Republcans.

Myles said the amendment is “shamefully partisan.” The NAACP plans to hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss its opposition to the measure.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 9 months ago

Did the majority of Kansans have this in mind when they voted their legislators into office? A bill to override the federal government and guarantee that the working poor of this state will not have health insurance? Is the right to see a doctor and get medicine when you are sick a priviledge? Or should proper health care be available for all? I respect all faiths, but as a Catholic I read of Jesus making the blind see, the deaf hear and the mute speak. This can apply to a mental and spiritual state as well as to a physical one. WWJD? Who wants Jack Daniels? Right about now, I think I do. Health reform. All fired up? Ready to go?

Moderateguy 4 years, 9 months ago

I was for this amendment from the beginning. Now that the NAACP has chimed in, I'm doubly for it. The federal government has exceeded it's authority, and this amendment calls them on it.

whynaut 4 years, 9 months ago

I encourage you to read the president's proposals here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/proposal

... specifically the part titled "Improve Individual Responsibility", which, in a nutshell, states that nobody is required to purchase health insurance. However, if you are capable of purchasing health insurance (as determined by your income -- and they do list some numbers), but you insist no remaining uninsured, then you will be taxed at a rate comparable to the cost of premiums.

The idea being that those who can afford health insurance but refuse to purchase coverage eventually end up costing the rest of us when we have to pay for the uncovered health care that they will inevitably need.

So the way I see it, it's a classic case of the federal government trying to infringe on our individual right to remain irresponsible and self serving.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

so in other words the warmed-over version is still compulsory! Mr. Obama in his campaign campaigned strongly against that.


the NAACP is against the Kansas Legislature protecting kansas from overbearing and overreaching federal intrusion. The NAACP is the handmaden still for the far left crazies running the democrat party! No surprise NAACP would oppose this.

there's a reason Mr. Obama couldn't get this through congress before. why the Ted Kennedy seat in the Senate is now held by a Republican who opposes health care fascism. Why Mr. Obama's approval is way down and if he ran today would not be elected.

if thursday is supposed to be about "new ideas" and starting over" then why is the Obama administration, Senate and House Democrats, all starting with this warmed-over version of senate and house bills from last year!

I hope to put up a blog soon on a particularly nasty little element of the Senate bill. for all we know it is in or going in the current warmed-over hash, or get stuck in via illegal reconciliation later. the warmed-over hash cannot be read anywhere, last I checked, only a cheerleading overview from the whitehouse itself. and we know their track record on this leaves them completely untrustworthy.

remember, forcing citizens to buy something, or punitively taxing them for not purchasing something, is certainly not constitutional.

straightforward 4 years, 9 months ago

Irish, opposing the federal government's bill does not guarantee the working poor won't have health insurance. It guarantees they have to pay for their healthcare... just like everyone else. This bill has nothing to do with the right to see a doctor or get medicine, it's about health insurance and you don't need insurance to see a doctor.

Jesus made the blind see, deaf hear and mute speak because the Pharisees and Sadducees were incompetent and self-serving. What would Jesus Do??? He would work for justice himself instead of relying on the government to do it.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says...

"Did the majority of Kansans have this in mind when they voted their legislators into office? "

When you consider that the majority of ALL Americans are opposed to the Democrats' proposed 'reform' package - um, the answer to your question is "Yes".

"Is the right to see a doctor and get medicine when you are sick a priviledge?"

I don't have insurance. I saw a doctor just two weeks ago.


"Myles said the amendment is “shamefully partisan.”"

As opposed to the reform package itself, for instance? That the Democrats are trying to force through without the approval of a single member of the minority party? Funny how it's always those other people that are being 'partisan'. Get a grip, Mr. Myles.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

whynaut (anonymous) says...

"... specifically the part titled "Improve Individual Responsibility", which, in a nutshell, states that nobody is required to purchase health insurance. However, if you are capable of purchasing health insurance (as determined by your income -- and they do list some numbers), but you insist no remaining uninsured, then you will be taxed at a rate comparable to the cost of premiums."

So, you don't have to buy health insurance. They'll just take your money anyway without you having health insurance. Why, that's MUCH better.

"The idea being that those who can afford health insurance but refuse to purchase coverage eventually end up costing the rest of us when we have to pay for the uncovered health care that they will inevitably need."

I am getting so sick of this load of crpola. That tired argument is based on the absolute opposite* of individual responsibility. It is based on the assumption that those without insurance will not take responsibility and pay their bills themnselves, and, sorry, whynaut, that doesn't speak highly of those who use that argument.

"So the way I see it, it's a classic case of the federal government trying to infringe on our individual right to remain irresponsible and self serving."

You could not be more wrong. It is a classic case of the federal government encouraging people to abdicate their personal responsibility.

Danimal 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, I for one am against the Fed attempting to regulate what is basically the natural maintenance process of the prairie ecosystem. Kansas City has air issues because almost everyone in JoCo drives a SUV, not because of a couple weeks of range fires in the spring. The prairies need to burn, if we don't do controlled burns in a few years we'll have roaring 1870's-style prairie fires sweeping across the Flint Hills.

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