Archive for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brownback accused of rejecting $31.5 million federal grant because of pressure from health-reform opponents

August 10, 2011


Vimeo video

Brownback explains why he supported applying for early innovator healthcare grant

Governor Brownback defends his support of implementing obamacare and Rep OHara Rebuts from Bob Bowser on Vimeo.

Gov. Sam Brownback has been a vocal supporter of developing a healthcare exchange in Kansas. Until this week. On Tuesday, he directed Kansas to return the grant to the federal government. The video was shot at a June meeting of the Elephant Club in Johnson County.

— In June, Gov. Sam Brownback stood before a standing-room-only crowd at the Johnson County Republican Party’s Elephant Club in Leawood and defended the state’s acceptance of a $31.5 million federal grant to set up an insurance exchange, which is part of the federal health care reform law.

But on Tuesday, Brownback announced he was rejecting the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What happened between then and now?

“As we’ve studied the issue over the course of the past six months, it has become clear that the money would not allow the state sufficient flexibility,” the governor’s office said. “The timeline with regard to legislative input was the big issue here.”

But Richard Fry, founder of the November Patriots, said on Wednesday that Brownback rejected the grant because he was feeling the heat from opponents of federal health reform.

November Patriots is an advocacy group that works on several issues, including opposition to federal health reform and in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants and support of photo ID for voting. Fry is from Olathe.

Fry was the one who asked Brownback at the Elephant’s Club to clarify how he could campaign against “Obamacare” but accept the “early innovator grant.”

At that time, the governor reiterated his position that he thought “Obamacare” was unconstitutional, but that the state was going to use the grant to set up a health insurance marketplace that could increase competition among insurance companies to benefit Kansas consumers.

Fry then said to Brownback that by accepting the grant the state would have to accept the federal health reform law. Brownback responded, “My interpretation and other legal counsel that I’ve had did not agree with yours.”

On Wednesday, Fry said, “I’ve driven 1,500 miles around the state informing the citizens of what is going on, and they are enraged to find out the governor who campaigned against Obamacare is accepting money to implement Obamacare. There is a groundswell of resentment.” He said the same thing happened in Oklahoma, which also has rejected an early innovator grant.

And Fry said he still suspects that even though Brownback has rejected the grant, he will still try to establish a health insurance exchange through another grant or with private dollars. If that were to happen, “the grassroots will explode again,” he said.


bobberboy 2 years, 8 months ago

I say he's guilty. There'll be a hangin' down by the old oak tree.


skinny 2 years, 8 months ago

Federal appeals court deals a blow to President Obama's health care law, ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional!! Told ya so!!!


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Obamacare did include a lot more citizens which is why RINO Brownback and the Medical Insurance Industry do not like it. But no it did not reduce cost.

It does prevent the medical insurance industry from dropping clients or denying care due to pre existing conditions which again the medical insurance industry does not like.

In fact most of the insured in the USA are under insured which makes this group still vulnerable to bankruptcy due to medical care/medical bills. To avoid being under insured will likely cost $12,000 - $18,500 per year by way of the medical insurance industry. Not a good deal for business people or families as it increases the cost of living just like high dollar gasoline.


ksrush 2 years, 8 months ago

I love Rothies play on words "accused " of rejecting. No Scottie he did reject the money and the strings attached.


tbaker 2 years, 8 months ago

Obamacare is bad law and needs to be replaced. It fails to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce cost, or expand coverage to more people - all three things being the president's stated goals. All it does is cost our country a lot more money and put government in charge of things it has no business being involved in. Every governor should reject it.


BobBowser 2 years, 8 months ago

On several occasions the Governor and his people have denied that Exchanges were being implemented… The Governor IN THAT VIDEO denied the money had to be used to set up an Exchange, and then they have changed their story. The Governor then went on to say that Exchanges are mandated in obamacare to be set up by the States.
All this was said after he had campaigned that this “law” is UnConstitutional. According to Supreme Court Justice Marshall, if a law is UnConstitutional, it is UnConstitutional from its inception, which completely nullifies obamacare per the Governor’s own definition.

So my question is, “Which is it, Sam?”

Before the Governor was sworn in, he gave the okay to Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger to proceed with the application for the EIG, so he already had “skin” in the game before he was in office. Now that the Governor has indicated the money will be returned, we find his Lieutenant Governor Colyer stating that they can still go on with implementing the Exchanges even without the federal money (see ) Kansas has long been considered a Red State by those if us (myself included) who have sat back saying “my man with the R behind his name is in charge so everything’s okay”. Those days are over. Right here in my City I have a Representative and a Senator who in a court of law could not be convicted on charges of either Republicanism OR Conservatism. In fact no one on the left has ever accused either of them of that. Charley Roth got a wonderful compliment by the Latino Republican Party of Arizona right along with Louis Ruiz (D) as being the best legislators in Kansas. We can only pray that history never mentions Sam Brownback in that light.


Don Brennaman 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope brokeback refuses to take federal retirement money if he is eligible. I know he doesn't deserve any.


jayhawxrok 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback has never cared about Kansas or Kansans, we're just a pit stop for this zealot on his nutball quest to turn back the clock to 1860. He won't be content until Kansas and Alabama are indistinguishable but for geography (oh wait, that's a kind of science and Reps are allergic to science, uh oh).


Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Where have we seen this ALEC rant before? Oh, wait, it's been posted on this award-winning website over and over and over in the last few weeks.


Ray Parker 2 years, 8 months ago

No cooperation or participation whatsoever with the Marxist medical takeover. Keep Kansas free.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

What is Brownback up to?

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition

This week the Center for Media and Democracy released 800 model bills, legislation that is straight out of the corporate playbook and drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation.

ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws.

Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions. We are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media Democracy.

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government


Richard Payton 2 years, 8 months ago

Sam wants women and men to buy rape insurance. If he accepted the federal money for health care his newly created rape insurance would bite the dust. I believe this rape insurance will bite the dust anyway but Sam will waste taxpayer money trying to establish idiot laws for Kansas. I didn't research any of this just my gut feeling.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

"he will still try to establish a health insurance exchange through another grant or with private dollars. If that were to happen, “the grassroots will explode again,” he said." What a dumb thing to say.

In essence this means more dollars to the medical insurance industry:

Meanwhile: Is there an FBI investigation under way? A Grand Jury investigation underway?

Why you ask?

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.

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."

Washington Post


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Tort Reform smort reform. RINO's have been screaming tort reform for 31 years yet changed nothing.

These RINO's care about money and power. Yes Koch Bros are nut jobs just like the Wal-Mart family and both are billionaires through no fault of their own. Yet both are funding think tanks and other PAC"s that represent lower wages for most all americans blue and white collar.

RINO's focus is privatization of as much government as possible. Not because private industry can do anything better or more efficient. It is because these private industry nut jobs want OUR trillions of tax dollars in their bank accounts.

Then OUR trillions of tax dollars can be spent evermore recklessly after all the most reliable source of fraud against consumers and taxpayers is private industry. Case in point: remember Sen Bill Frist? He and his family own a few HMO's that which ripped Medicare for billions. These white collar criminals should be in jail and never allowed to have access to medicare dollars again.

Privatization = expansion of government by way of YOUR tax dollars

Do you want MORE of your tax dollars spent on:

  1. CEO's
  2. Stock options
  3. Shareholders
  4. golden parachutes
  5. special interest campaign contributions
  6. corp jets
  7. 3 martini dinners
  8. lawyers defending against fraud charges
  9. dishonest campaign commercials
  10. homes in Aspen,Colorado

Republicans should quit voting for RINO's!


camper 2 years, 8 months ago

What is this 31.5 million for? To develop online resources so patients can review health care options. Wonderful. Whatever happened to picking up the phone and calling the doctor? Why must we turn everything into rocket science? Another reason why health care costs are increasing many times more than the rate of inflation. 31.5 million for IT infrastructure. The same thing that is bankrupting many companies, IT sells you on a bill of goods and once you sign on you become IT poor. Information technology can be a giant vacuum cleaner that sucks money out of organizations and holds them hostage to it.

I am all for federal grants that benefit people and the State, I believe in joint-venture between the government and private entities, but to me this 31.5 million seems like money flushed down the IT tioilet.


worthlessljworldposter 2 years, 8 months ago

Pertinent here too, it seems. Sam's a puppet here. The real mastermind of the new kill-the-poor campaign in Kansas:


Kim Murphree 2 years, 8 months ago

Really....why is there NO plan from Republicans to curb the costs of healthcare? All I ever hear about is tort reform....well, of course that is the plan pushed by pharmaceutical companies who don't want to be held responsible when their products cause sickness and death, they don't want to bear the responsibility in product liability cases...they would rather strip us of our right to recourse in the courts--you know Texas passed tort reform and guess what? Heath care costs have NOT come down--oh no, the drug companies and medical supply companies did not race to cut prices on their drugs and supplies--what? Torn reform doesn't work? Well, not for the consumer, and not for a nation trying to reign in the costs of health care, that's for sure. Another Republican claim down the tube. So, let's get back to deficit and health care. The Republicans claim to be so worried about the deficit, but health care costs are a large part of the problem. So, what is the Republican plan to bring PRICES down...note, I didn't just say COSTS because I don't believe shutting down Medicare of Medicaid is the solution...instead, its the PRICE of health care, the inflation caused by insurance companies, and the monopoly of drug companies...and NO they are not spending all that money on research and development. Come on. I dare Republicans to be honest about this...what's the plan for healthcare? Surely not to go back to a broken system? Or do you still think its moral to have elderly choose between medicine and food? Let's hear the big you have been goading our President...where's the plan?


Kontum1972 2 years, 8 months ago

what exactly is a death panel...?

is this SS/Nazi Lingo?


is it a game show...?


William Weissbeck 2 years, 8 months ago

We have reached the point where the GOP on issues like health care and climate change, believe that they can ignore health care models in use in the rest of the world and the weight of scientific research, and pretend that because of "American Exceptionalism" (and god) that the US is immune from being stupid.


LHS56 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm mad as hell and I've had enough!! If "we" haven't or aren't thinking about the 2012 elections we deserve the Obamas and Brownbacks of the world. Time to clean house. I really think I could get 12 people from the McDonald's coffee club and they would have a plan to balance the budget in a month. Our representatives have forgotten the people and are only thinking about remaining in office. Or....perhaps passing up 21 million to position themselves for a national office. (yes...another 21 million...but this money would get us ahead of the curve and save Kansas money!) If Sandy is upset about this decision, I know it was the wrong decision. She is concerned about the people...not her gain.


Jimo 2 years, 8 months ago

But in good news -- Sarah Palin is returning her bus tour to Iowa. (Why do I think she'll quit half-way across the state?)

Ask me about Paul Revere!


eyeye 2 years, 8 months ago

The cream rises until it putrifys, then it finances pressure groups to abuse anyone who does not insist that it is ice cream and threatens to take their jobs if they don't. This is particularly interesting in Brownback's case since his rise, with the help of ChurchCo, rode on Ag subsidies. Richard Fry is creating a job for himself (about the only jobs Republicans "create" by the way) and Fry may have ambitions to be around the RNC candidate for President next year and most definitely in 2016, when Subsidy-Sam quite possibly plans to run in the presidential primaries. As the abortion debate so clearly illustrates, when people's lives become a means of building bank accounts and congregations for extremists, what actually happens to people doesn't matter, in fact the worse it gets for them, the longer the problems remain unsolved, the better those bank accounts do.

Power to the People!!!


Ken Schmidt 2 years, 8 months ago

While we continue to send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to support countries which quite frankly, do not like us, we fail to accept funding which would help the infrastructure of our own. It is time to start bring our troops home, diverting some of the billions of wasted dollars (google wasted contractor dollars) into improving our own country. Several previous posters have outed the problem. Our heathcare system is going to go bankrupt. Period. Soon. The number and burden of uninsured patients in our hospitals is on the rise. They will never pay. We are left with the tab. As any physician working at LMH. This is not due to any party politics. Everyone has a hand in it. We need to start thinking about how we spend money and not take it away from programs which are set to improve the situation. Start with the big ticket items first and then work down.


Frightwig 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback Mountain

"Sam, dadgummit, I wish we knew how to quit you."


Beth Ennis 2 years, 8 months ago

Alceste, you are right. Also, if we don't take this money and set up the system as required, the feds will do it for us and we will have NO say in it whatsoever. That is how it is written. By turning that money away we are going to go in to an even bigger hole. It's crazy. The feds have already put this money aside. Turning it back isn't going to put it back towards the deficit. They'll just give it to another state. It's crazy. Our federal government is so poor about money matters, it's truly mind boggling. It's always been that way too. I can remember my dad telling me when I was very young, that if you don't spend all of the money in your budget (let's say you knew you had a big expenditure coming up and you wanted to save half from one year and half from the other), then the next year you only get what you spent the previous year. That means you are PENALIZED for trying to be a good steward of the money. So, no government agency ever gives back any money, they aren't allowed to save from one year to the next, and they spend every penny they are given, whether they need it or not. It is all such a waste, but that is how they set up the system. What is wrong with this picture????


jimincountry 2 years, 8 months ago

Communism can't work so long as capitalism exists anywhere. That is why the socialist elite drive society toward more and more government programs.


Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

Right. Our Government is going broke due to the welfare programs guys like Brownback signed up for and continue to receive. Capital gains reductions; price/farm subsidies; shirking on income tax, etc.

Over time, the United States has expected less and less of its elite, even as society has oriented itself in a way that is most likely to maximize their income. The top income-tax rate was 91 percent in 1960, 70 percent in 1980, 50 percent in 1986, and 39.6 percent in 2000, and is now 35 percent. Income from investments is taxed at a rate of 15 percent. The estate tax has been gutted.

High earners should pay considerably more in taxes than they do now. Top tax rates of even 50 percent for incomes in the seven-figure range would still be considerably lower than their level throughout the boom years of the post-war era, and should not be out of the question—nor should an estate-tax rate of similar size, for large estates.



skinny 2 years, 8 months ago

Good job Sam. Our Government is going broke and you are the only one that has the guts to do anything about it! Keep up the good work!


Alceste 2 years, 8 months ago

A. Here's a short video of this guy Fry...." fellow Americans...." indeed.

B. is a news article from Reuters about the Kansas rejection.

Reads like it's just fine and dandy that Brownback rejected the money because now Kansas can count on HHS in Washington to establish the Kansas plan. I'd much rather have Washington create and craft this plan than the boys and girls in Topeka at this stage of "the game".

The hacks in Topeka (Leawood for that matter) have demonstrated over and over they no longer have the interests of Kansans in mind when "legislating": They're worried about the monied, wealthy set alone.

So fine by me that Brownback rejected the moolah. Now we get Washington to design something with everyone in mind, and not just them that have.


Mary Alexander 2 years, 8 months ago

You have hit it on the head overthemoon, People need to make sure they know what they are talking about there are some good parts concerning the Affordable Health Care Act. We need to fight to keep it from being distroyed. Fry is one of those that love to tell lies to get what they want no matter who it hurts. They are not for us they are for themselves.


overthemoon 2 years, 8 months ago

Interesting that Brownback made this announcement following his 'vacation'...which happened to coincide with the ALEC convention in New Orleans as well as the Parry Pray Fest. ALEC has strongly encouraged GOP governors to reject Federal funds to clear the way for healthcare lawsuits and repeal efforts. I'm guessing that it was the ALEC members from the health insurance industry, not this Fry guy, that strong armed Brownback into rejecting the money.


overthemoon 2 years, 8 months ago

One of the biggest problems is that people like Fry and the party media outlet continue to misinform people about what is really in the Affordable health Care Act. They tell lies that make people fearful in order to create that 'groundswell'. And they do it with the aid and support of the health insurance industry that makes buckets of money off of an overpriced and dysfunctional system of for-profit health care.


Paul R Getto 2 years, 8 months ago

"The Fellowship maintains no public website and conducts no public fundraising activities." ========== Two key points here to remember. The "Family" which directs Muscular Sam's efforts, tries hard to keep a low profile and to stay off the radar. Their official position is to eliminate government and to recraft it in their new image of the muscular jesus and turning over nearly all of it to their 'faith-based' buddies. Sam is just walking the walk and talking the talk of his trainers. A good quote: "In Newsweek, Lisa Miller wrote that, rather than calling themselves "Christians," as they describe themselves they are brought together by common love for the teachings of Jesus and that all approaches to "loving Jesus" are acceptable.[15] In contrast, Jeff Sharlet, who was interviewed on NBC News and wrote a book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power,[2] and an article in Harper's[16] about his experience serving as an intern in the Fellowship, has stated that the organization fetishizes power by comparing Jesus to “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden” as examples of leaders who change the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers”.[14][15]"

Since Sam is sworn to secrecy about his 'family' he won't say much; you have to study on your own.


mloburgio 2 years, 8 months ago

Kansas not pursuing federal prevention dollars

Major federal initiative will bypass Kansas because no one applied for grant TOPEKA — “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” — Ben Franklin

The federal government is poised to start spending $900 million nationwide over the next five years in an effort to battle costly chronic ailments such as obesity and diabetes.

The initiative is considered the single largest push to date by the national government to encourage disease prevention. But Kansas likely won’t see a dollar of that money.

Why not? Well, one big reason is that no one here asked.

The July 15 deadline for submitting applications for the so-called Community Transformation Grants has come and gone.


distant_voice 2 years, 8 months ago

So let's go ahead and accept the $31.5 million that we don't need. When our federal government is over $14 trillion in debt, who cares? Right?

As long as Americans remain in the "gimme, gimme, gimme" mode, our congressmen will try to support them, sinking our country ever deeper into the debt morass we're already in. Instead of thinking "what can the government give me now?", shouldn't Americans start thinking, "How can I help our country get out of debt?"


KS 2 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't make any difference as to why, it was a good decision.


usnsnp 2 years, 8 months ago

If the Courts uphold the Health Care Law then the tax payers will have to pay for getting the system going. At this point the Governor will say we have to shut more things down. Next you will see the closure of other state offices or so called consoladation. Of course if you want to keep your office the city or country can pay the state portion of the cost.


bobberboy 2 years, 8 months ago

time for a recall election !!!!!!!!!


oldexbeat 2 years, 8 months ago

Again, Gov. Sam nee Senator Brownback gets paid to know what to think -- from jumping from the right wing protestant church ledge to the pit of right wing "Family:" Roman Catholic beliefs (and over 50 years old when he allowed this complete swing of mind) -- google The Family and Brownback together -- to killing the Ks Arts Commission -- after the Republican legislature funded it -- he just is going to GET HIS WAY -- truly the Tea Party paid for him and now they will get their 12 year old level political way (as in "It is MINE.") with him. DONE DEAL. (


witchfindergeneral 2 years, 8 months ago

"November Patriots is an advocacy group that works on several issues, including opposition to federal health reform and in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants and support of photo ID for voting."

Well, I can see why Governor Brownback would listen to a "grassroots advocate" (read: folksy lobbyist) with such a stalwart, completely non-discriminatory, agenda.

Did anyone else get really creeped out by the name of the "Johnson County Republican Party’s Elephant Club." I shudder to think about what is discussed over casual, post-meeting cocktails at this club...


verity 2 years, 8 months ago

So now we find the truth. This was not a matter of conscience or principle. This was Sam being controlled by the most extreme people in this state, who will now be more emboldened to push their agenda. I'm sure they think they are doing what is best for all of us. They are too stupid to realize that they are destroying our state and Sam is too stupid to realize that the extreme whatever they are are not the majority in this country---and probably not in this state.

I doubt that Sam will resign as governor to run for the presidency and it's very, very doubtful that he will even do as well as he did last time. I think that the only way we can get rid of Sam as governor is to find and begin grooming a Democrat to run in 2014. Tom Holland would definitely have been a better governor than Sam---if he had done nothing he would be better, but he didn't have the name recognition. W E N E E D T O S T A R T N O W.


oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 8 months ago

How is he accused if he did it?


Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

Odd that the rightwing spokesperson in the article is positioned as being "accusing" of BB. He caved in to his base and gave them what they wanted. Now they mistrust him? Why? Because he even dared to possibly defy them in the first place? Wow.


Centerville 2 years, 8 months ago

No, it's probably because everyone who has been snookered into government run health care hates it. This 'exchange' doesn't expand choices, it restricts them and then sends taxpayers a giant bill for being suckers. Look at Sibelius at the House hearing about this - in her usual graceless and rattled way, she admits that these exchanges are all about rationing...with her cronies doing the rationing. We've dodged a big bullet by staying out of this.


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