Archive for Friday, March 26, 2010

Legislative Democrats say Kansas should support health care reform

March 26, 2010, 11:56 a.m. Updated March 26, 2010, 11:56 a.m.


— Democratic leaders in the Kansas Legislature said Friday that it’s time for Republican critics of federal health care reform to cool it.

“All the scare tactics and fear-mongering from the far right is going to prove to be much ado about nothing,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

Davis said Republican leaders also should denounce recent reports of vandalism and racial remarks made against supporters of the health bill approved earlier this week.

Nearly all Republicans representing Kansas on the state and federal levels have been vehement in their opposition to the bill.

“The law needs to be repealed as soon as possible and replaced with a plan that would actually lower health care costs for all families and prohibit cost controls that would interfere with treatment decisions between doctors and patients,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

But state Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said health care reform will eventually provide coverage for 300,000 Kansans who currently don’t have insurance.

“It’s time to embrace federal health care reform instead of opting out of it,” Hensley said.

Republicans have pushed hard in the Kansas Legislature to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot that would block federal health care requirements to purchase insurance.

After three votes in the House, the measure has failed to get the required two-thirds majority for a constitutional amendment. In the Senate, the proposal has been stuck in committee on tie votes.

Critics of the proposed amendment say the legality of federal health care legislation will depend on how the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the U.S. Constitution, regardless of what measures states place in theirs.

Numerous Republican officials, including U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, whose district includes west Lawrence, have called on Attorney General Steve Six to join a constitutional challenge to the new law.

“Specifically, the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects state sovereignty,” Jenkins said. “I am concerned by centralizing health care decision-making in Washington and removing that power from local entities, the federal government is exercising powers not granted to it through the U.S. Constitution.”

Six, a Democrat, has said he is reviewing the legislation.

Hensley and Davis said Kansas should focus on how to benefit from provisions in the new reforms.

And Hensley credited passage of the federal legislation, in part, to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who left Kansas to serve in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of health and human services. Hensley said that “the debate really turned” when Sebelius went on the offensive, talking about insurance industry abuses.


Sue McDaniel 8 years, 2 months ago

Then why do all the polls show it is not popular with the American people? THEY DID NOT LISTEN!!! Now we are supposed to just take it?

madcow 8 years, 2 months ago

"Then why do all the polls show it is not popular with the American people? they did not listen!!! Now we are supposed to just take it?"

The majority of Americans support health care reform. The poll data you are quoting is being presented in a misleading way.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 2 months ago


A lot of those polls were asking if people approved of "Obamacare".

Most people support the idea of insurance companies not being able refuse someone for pre-existing condition or drop a person if they get too sick, just when they need it the most.

Also, the HCR bill will be cutting the National Deficit by $149 billlion dollars over the next 9 years.

Not to mention the huge positive impact of all the Americans that won't have to go into bankruptcy from medical bills they accrued when their insurance company dropped them.

opchick 8 years, 2 months ago

Can't wait for all these republicans to run for office on a platform of taking health insurance away from kids with pre-existing conditions. That should guarantee lots of votes. LOL

Danimal 8 years, 2 months ago

The problem isn't that people don't want health care reform, our country desperately needs it and almost everyone can agree on that. The problem is that the Democrats are dictating their will to the people while patting us all on the head and assuring us that it will all be fine and that we shouldn't worry our little brains with such big complex issues. Sometimes, like when you elect a bunch of idiots (I'm talking about both sides), Representative Democracy begins to fail. Health care is far too important for our lawmakers to be allowed to take the "we'll get it right eventually" stance that they currently occupy.

We're the last developed nation in the World to cross this bridge. Hopefully our "leaders" (I hate calling them that because both parties are populated with morons) will look at the few dozen nations that preceded us in this step as case studies. However, this being America, they will probably rush blindly into all the same mistakes that other nations have already made.

Tom Wilson 8 years, 2 months ago

I am an independent...and do support health care reform. One big drawback though. I have lived in nations that do have government run healthcare (England, Canada, Italy and Trinidad & Tobago). Believe do NOT want to be in a position of healthcare need in those countries. In each case the quality and timeliness of healthcare plummeted once adopted, in spite of all the good things tauted prior to the "change". This bill will (believe it!) drop our quality of service. The so called "savings" will come from cut backs. Tort reform is absent...meaning your doctor will continue paying through the nose for malpractice insurance. Since the congressmen in DC who voted for this bill are (in the majority) lawyers and not businessmen or doctors, do you think they would not stack the deck in their favor (not yours)? This bill is a bad deal. I am not finished fighting against it.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 2 months ago

The savings come from cutting back on waste, like having the same test done by several different doctors and stopping fraud and abuse.

Tort reform is bs and would only save 1-2%

All those other countries have higher quality health care than the United States.

Malpractice insurance is just a very small fraction of the cost of health care for providers. A much, much larger cost for Insurance & Drug companies is paying for marketing and lobbyists.

The politicians who were voting against the bill had the Insurance and drug companies in their back pocket, they are the one they were concerned about more than the cared about Americans.

It doesn't take a doctor or business person to know that people should be denied health care insurance because of preexisting conditions or dropped if the medical expenses get too high.

BigDog 8 years, 2 months ago

ksjayhawk74 The savings come from cutting back on waste, like having the same test done by several different doctors and stopping fraud and abuse.

The "savings" you are talking about is mostly coming from Medicare cuts .....

Before I hear the arguement that it is coming from the Medicare Advantage programs and they cost more that regular Medicare. That is true .... but they are higher cost because Medicare Advantage covers services that traditional Medicare doesn't and has lower out of pocket costs..... services not covered like dental, vision. Lower out of pocket costs for people on fixed incomes .... seems like a horrible thing to me.

And the fraud and waste ..... thats funny .... politicians have been claiming that for years on both state and federal level. So far they only have found small amounts .... not nearly $1 TRILLION over 10 years.

geekyhost 8 years, 2 months ago

How dare those legally elected Democrats carry out their campaign promises! Did they think they were elected to do something? What's even worse is that they actually enacted a pretty conservative health plan. Oh the horrors!

raby627 - Tort reform did nothing to lower the costs in McAllen, TX, one of the most expensive healthcare markets in the country. Your anecdotes also don't stack up to the data:

And to add anecdote to your anecdote, I've also lived overseas in a country that handled health care through public and private insurance options, a more liberal system than what's happening here, and I received superior care at lower costs. Meanwhile, in the good ol' U-S-of-A, I've had waits of up to a year to see specialists, outrageous copays, rejected claims, and low quality care through lack of access.

letsgetwise 8 years, 2 months ago

What does cutting private funding for college education have to do with providing national health insurance?

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 2 months ago

I read an article about the Health Care bill on MSNBC. Part of the savings over the 10 years by the CBO is 69 BILLION dollars in FINES by people & companies for not getting healthcare.

geekyhost 8 years, 2 months ago

No, the student loans don't have to do with health care. It has more to do with moving legislation past a totally dysfunctional legislative body.

They didn't reinvent the wheel with that student loan tack-on, though. Direct loans already existed for well over a decade. They just standardized them to apply to everyone and ended the FFELP portion. FFELP was essentially taxpayer money handed out to banks to lend students money with virtually no risk to the banks.

Private banks are still perfectly free to make private loans to students and assume the risk for their investment without the promise of a government bailout if that student defaults or wads of cash for subsidized deferments while the student is in school. What banks will probably end up doing after being weaned from the government teat is diving deeper into parent loans.

Sunny Parker 8 years, 2 months ago

state Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said health care reform will eventually provide coverage for 300,000 Kansans who currently don’t have insurance.

Who do you think is going to pay for this?

Do you honestly believe that when businesses are taxed to high heaven that the business will suffer? Businesses get their money from us, the consumer. Do you really believe these costs are not going to be billed to the tax payer?

Consumers pay for businesses taxes. Wake up people!

This is a government take over! Obomba wants to be in control of every thing! More and bigger government!

Why should anyone be forced to buy a product such has health insurance?

The stupidity amazes me!

md 8 years, 2 months ago

Liberals are sooooooooooooo naive

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Have no fear. These Kansas repubs are taking orders from Washington D.C so like sheep off they go.

Repubs will never repeal Obamacare because it is such a gravy train for the insurance industry.

These industries fork over wayyyyyy too much corrupt dollars into political campaigns. When will voters ever get angry enough to stop this BS?

Repubs are being bogus. They will NOT cut off tons of federal tax dollars by the trillions flowing into the medical insurance cookie jars. Then again neither will the taxpayers apparently which is probably the true source of the problem.

THINK HARD before returning big spending incumbents to office.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 2 months ago

@ sunny

It's audacious that you're so worried about the dangers of 300,000 Kansans getting health insurance...

You know it costs much more money when those people do not have health insurance and have to go to the emergency room to be treated for conditions that they have never been able to see a doctor for. Where do you think that money comes from?

These uninsured are not just poor people you know. There's a lot of people who are not poor but can't get insurance because they have pre-existing conditions or were dropped by their insurance company.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 2 months ago

ksjayhawk74 has hit the nail on the head with the post by sunny. We are ALREADY paying for the gross missuse of the health care system by those who do not have or refuse to buy health insurance by taking every sniffle and ingrown toenail to the emergency room. This fact is convieniantly overlooked by the limbot republicans who merely ditto the crass opinions of their radio talk show host heros.

There is no legal basis to sue the government for doing it's job, enacting legislation that will benefit the citzenry. But I know that the klan boys and Idaho nazis and other dittoheads will never accept this, it is their object to try to foment armed revolution and anachy in the United States by any means possible. And THAT is the real issue, folks, the overthrow of the black guy and his family in the White Hose.

Sunny Parker 8 years, 2 months ago took 2700 pages to do this?

beatrice 8 years, 2 months ago

So sunny boy, which is it you are worried about, the fact that Kansans will get healthcare, or that it took about the length of a couple of Harry Potter books to work out all the details? Which is it?

I do so hope Republicans keep flapping their lips about how much they really and truly are against their fellow Americans from having access to health care. The Party of NO will be remembered come No-vember.

sad_lawrencian 8 years, 2 months ago

Our country has been in need of socialized medicine for a long time. Obama's bill is one step in the right direction. The Right needs to cool it.

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