Archive for Thursday, October 7, 2010

Health care overhaul topic of 3rd Congressional District debate

October 7, 2010


— Candidates seeking the state’s 3rd District U.S. House seat sparred Wednesday evening over whether Congress should repeal the new federal health care overhaul.

“I don’t believe the federal government, through mandates, is going to be able to cut costs and increase quality for Americans,” said Republican Kevin Yoder, who wants Congress to start over on health care reform.

But Democrat Stephene Moore said repealing the law would add to the federal deficit based on savings that were built in and that even though it wasn’t perfect, the overhaul has done some good things.

“This is a law now,” she said. “To me the idea of doing nothing was not an option.”

The candidates — along with Libertarian Jasmin Talbert who also said she would repeal the law — are vying to replace the retiring Rep. Dennis Moore, Stephene Moore’s husband, in the district that includes eastern Lawrence and Douglas County and Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

Yoder, a Kansas House member and attorney from Overland Park, argued that to pay for the health care changes the federal government would have to slash funding for Medicare and that an overhaul should include things like sharing health insurance across state lines and allowing small businesses to pool together.

“You’ve got to use the free market,” Yoder said.

But Moore said the law is having an important effect in several areas, including helping people with pre-existing conditions get insurance and allowing young people to remain on their parents’ insurance policies until the age of 26.

The three candidates appeared in a spirited one-hour debate at Johnson County Community College where supporters of each side often broke out in cheers and applause at times and shouted out questions at others.

Yoder said Congress should roll back nondefense spending to 2008 levels and institute more budget cuts. He also favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent and said Moore favors current policies that have so many people upset at the current Congress.

But Moore has said the district would benefit from her perspective because she has worked as a nurse. She said she would favor extending the Bush tax cuts for now while making them permanent for 98 percent of taxpayers and “temporary for the top 2 percent” of income earners.

She also said Yoder’s plans to cut federal spending would affect federal education spending.

“That is taking more money from our public education at all levels,” Moore said. “That’s K-12 on through college. There are students who very much depend on their student loans.”

Yoder’s campaign Wednesday announced it raised $730,000 in the last quarter, calling it an unofficial record for the district. Moore’s campaign did not publicly announce fundraising numbers Wednesday.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

Kevin Yoder has no idea what he is talking about. He is all about the party line. Republicans put nothing new on the table.

Here is what republicans did put on the table without public debate

The republican party put 11 million people out of work. Yes the wiped out jobs,medical insurance,retirement plans and put the economy where it is today. Why would anyone vote them back in office? That would be further economic suicide!

As for the above Reagan/Bush did the same thing. Why would anyone vote them republicans back in office ever again?

Why didn't Brownback and Moran know this? What were they doing while their party was wrecking the country?

Anybody reading this get a refund? 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.

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.

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