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Archive for Friday, August 12, 2011

Federal government pledges more money to $31.5-million health insurance program Gov. Brownback rejected

August 12, 2011

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— The federal government on Friday announced the award of $185 million in grants to states to help set up health insurance exchanges — a process that was thrown into limbo in Kansas after Gov. Sam Brownback this week rejected a $31.5 million grant to work on establishing an exchange.

In a conference call from Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new round of grants would go to 13 states and the District of Columbia for the exchanges — one-stop shops where consumers can search for the best insurance policy for their needs. Kansas was not among the group. The exchanges are part of the federal health reform law and are scheduled to be in place in 2014.

In February, Kansas had been awarded a $31.5 million “early innovator” grant to start work on the health insurance exchange. But on Tuesday, Brownback, a Republican who had earlier signed off on the grant, rejected it, saying there were too many strings attached and too many unknowns about future federal funding.

Sebelius, a Democrat, did not address Brownback’s rejection in the teleconference, but maintained that states had been given leeway in implementing the exchanges to tailor them to their needs.

As a former governor, insurance commissioner and legislator in Kansas, Sebelius said, “I know the importance of letting states lead.”

But Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Brownback’s point man on health issues, said one of the reasons Brownback rejected the federal grant was because of concerns about federal budget cuts.

“We have great concerns that in the long run there may not be the money there,” he said.

He said if there is an exchange in Kansas “the Legislature needs to pass a bill.”

Sebelius said the health insurance exchanges will increase competition between health insurance companies and that will result in better rates and policies for individuals and small businesses.

Sebelius and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman also released proposed rules on tax credits to help people buy private insurance, and procedures to check income and eligibility.

Brownback has been praised by those opposed to the new health reform law for rejecting the grant, but others have questioned the wisdom in turning down the funding.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, a Republican, said Brownback’s action represented a “missed opportunity.”

The ultimate fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will probably rest with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Friday, an Atlanta appeals court ruled that the requirement that nearly all Americans have health insurance or face a penalty is unconstitutional. But the panel upheld other parts of the law. And in June, an Ohio appeals court upheld the entire law.

Kansas was one of 26 states that joined the legal effort against the law in the Atlanta court.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, said, “For the first time, a federal appeals court has declared that this law requiring Americans to purchase a product or face a penalty exceeds the power granted by the Constitution to our federal government.

“The Constitution created a federal government of limited, enumerated powers and did not grant to the federal government an unlimited general police power to do whatever it wishes.”

He said the appeals court decision “makes Supreme Court review of the law almost certain.”

Comments

jayhawxrok 2 years, 8 months ago

We do have to control spending but spiraling healthcare costs are part of it...insurance companies, especially ones like United Healthcare, are beyond greed and BCBS is spoiled having little competition. We need reform across the nation.

Don't buy the Republican lies about healthcare, lying is their only strategy on every topic.

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bootlegger 2 years, 8 months ago

hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........

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Centerville 2 years, 8 months ago

Speaking of "zombie hand", did you see Kathy trying to tell Paul Ryan that rationing isn't rationing if she gets to do it? What is with her new, weird lips and makeup?

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Daffy 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't need the government to take care of me. I have pride. Keep your BS Obama. I don't need your lies.

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Centerville 2 years, 8 months ago

What is being purposefully ignored is that, to continue sucking in exchange money, the state has to have a plan that is at least as bad as the Sebelius one. Don't buy into the notion that a plan can put put together in Kansas with any flexibility.

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WilburNether 2 years, 8 months ago

The headline is misleading. It should read: "Federal Government Pledges to Borrow More Money from China for $31.5 gazillion....."

What Barack Hussein does not get is that we don't have the money to pay for this, and sooner or later the rest of the world will realize that they are fools for lending us the money for our government's profligate spending.

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AppologiesMyLiege 2 years, 8 months ago

Who does Obama represent? A few Liberals?

The country, the world for that matter, have lost confidence in him and is unraveling. Gold at $1700 is proof of that. The country and world needs leadership. The leadership void left by this country in the world will be filled by someone. Someone from Russia or China? It does not look good.

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distant_voice 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm an Independent who voted both for Sebelius when she was running for govenor and Obama for President, but decicions like this make me believe that this administration has no will or even the smallest inclination to control our massive debt load. On one hand, Obama talks about controlling spending, but his actions continue to show that he is as committed as ever to a program known for its run-away spending. I despise the tea party for the ultra-radical, right wing zealots they are, but decisions like these push me back into the Republican camp for the elections next year.

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Godot 2 years, 8 months ago

Re: the JW stirring the mud. There is no grown up in charge at the JW. There is no one with any perspective or respect for the magnitude of the problems we,us, our children, their children face as a result of the current breakdown in responsible governing. The perspective of the JW is just now. Just gotcha, hyper-partisan politics, because that is what they think will get them some government cheese, some democrat government advertising brownie points. Goodness knows, they cannot count on private sector advertising....they have long since burned that bridge.

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Daffy 2 years, 8 months ago

Obama will pay anything to get the states to play with him. Upping the ante hoping other countries will bankroll him is a scary proposition. Some people love him for going all in. But he is broke, betting on the river. But hey, it's not his money.

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Pay_N_My_Way 2 years, 8 months ago

I do not understand why liberals think the Federal Government is NOT broke. 14T in the hole is not broke? What are you thinking. Do you run your household that deep in the red? The Government is broke and they keep trying to dig us deeper.

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Pay_N_My_Way 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm with consumer1 he/she said "Brownback has been praised by those opposed to the new health reform law for rejecting the grant, but others have questioned the wisdom in turning down the funding.

and the journal world is doing everything possible to stir the mud on this and pretend it is the National Enquirer."

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clorox 2 years, 8 months ago

WHITE RACIST BROWNBACK. ANOTHER WHITE RACIST EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN POLTICAL CLOWN. KANSAS IS JUST A STUPID STATE.

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ThePilgrim 2 years, 8 months ago

Obamacare is not dead. It will eventually go to the Supreme Court and get green lighted, especially if Obama gets to nominate another justice.

Kansas was leading the way with the insurance exchange. If they don't do it then they will be wait until the Feds do it for them, which equals less control and choice over the process. Kansas had the opportunity to lead, but the crazy grassroots folks wanted it killed. Now the state will have ultimately to pay for it.

Remember, the insurance exchange and mandatory coverage, with offset tax breaks, was a Republican party platform in 2008 in McCain's campaign!

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownbackwards was a rotten senator and now is wreaking his debauched and degraded theology on the citizens of Kansas. Other states are benefiting, but no, Kansas has to endure this idiot who attends prayer rallys with the equally obnoxious governer of the State of Texas. Just what were people thinking when they chose to hitch their wagon to this nit-wit who's onerous Rush Limbaugh style ethics were clearly visible. You get the government you deserve and in Kansas that has become the horror story of the decade.

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distant_voice 2 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely! Just like any democrat! Pledge millions that you have to borrow!

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purplesage 2 years, 8 months ago

And they said the Newsweek cover photo of Michelle Bachman was unflattering and scary?

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esteshawk 2 years, 8 months ago

This just shows how stupid it was for Brownie to reject the money. It did NOTHING to reduce the debt, which apparently was his reason. It also did not "teach Washington as lesson." This action simply passed the money on to a more intelligent species.

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lawrenceguy40 2 years, 8 months ago

Governor Brownback was voted into office by the decent people of Kansas. The fact that the liberals in Lawrence are squealing is the best demonstration that OUR Governor is doing an excellent job.

The people of Kansas want a State where hard work is rewarded, where God fearing Christian people look after their own. We do not want the liberal panacea where liberal bums do no work, reap all benefits and hard work is viewed as a fool's folly.

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weeslicket 2 years, 8 months ago

asking for some information, please: A. when i look at various health insurance carriers, they are almost always: 1. corporations; 2. that sell products across the entire nation; 3. and sometimes sell products globally. how is this not interstate commerce?

B. while i understand the complaint that this legislation is "coercive"; how is this coercion different from, say: federal income taxes; or registering for the draft; or withholding federal highway funds unless the state drinking age is set to 21; or sending national guardsmen to escort schoolchildren; etc. ?

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bobberboy 2 years, 8 months ago

Now that we know that Browncreep was bought and paid for buy the Koch Brothers I think we should have a recall election.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Nice photo of Kathy doing the zombie-hand.

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bobberboy 2 years, 8 months ago

Ahh the good ole days when we did'nt have Browncreep as Gov !

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fan4kufootball 2 years, 8 months ago

Without the individual mandate then the whole plan is flawed. Since the plan does not allow insurance companies to deny pre-existing conditions then everyone will wait till their sick or have an accident to buy coverage. Therefore you only have people buying coverage that already have an illness or physical ailment buying insurance. See the problem? Insurance rates would be so high that NO ONE could afford them. If you take out the individual mandate then you also have to take out the provision that insurance companies must cover pre-existing conditions.

Look at if from the auto insurance world. If everyone was allowed to only buy insurance after they had an accident and yet expect to be covered for that accident.......

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

There's a blast from the past. merrill had taken his medicare for all post out of the heavy rotation for a while.

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Mike1949 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't see why the government can't provide an option to buy insurance. You think Medicare is free right now? If so, I should get all that money back that I pay per month!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Moreover, Medicare tax dollars also pay for critical elements of the health care system apart from direct care.

Medicare funds much of the expensive equipment hospitals use, for instance, along with all medical residencies.

All told, then, tax dollars already pay for at least $1.2 trillion in annual U.S. health care expenses. Since federal, state, and local governments collected approximately $3.5 trillion in taxes of all kinds—income, sales, property, corporate—in 2006, that means that more than one third of the aggregate tax revenues collected in the United States that year went to pay for health care.

Recognizing these hidden costs that U.S. households pay for health care today makes it far easier to see how a universal single-payer system—with all of its obvious advantages—can cost most Americans less than the one we have today.

Medicare Insurance must exist in the fragmented world that is American health care—but no matter how creative the opponents of single-payer get, there is no way they can show convincingly how the administrative costs of a single-payer system could come close to the current level.

More on this matter: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

Bring On IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Physicians for a Single Payer National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org/

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KS 2 years, 8 months ago

And just where do you folks all plan to get the money to pay for all of this? Don't look to the Federal Govt. They are BROKE! Someone earlier said there are a lot of stupid folks out there. Quite true. If is were against the law to be stupid, half of Lawrence would be behind bars by now. It is up to you to decide which half you are in.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years, 8 months ago

I am going to stick to my policy of buying insurance from whoever knocks on my door.

If they look honest, are wearing a tie and have a good haircut, that is enough for me.

Acme Insurance Co. of Delaware. Heard of them? I've never filed a claim, but I am certain they will stand by me. The salesman said so.

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Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 8 months ago

I think Merrill has some really good comments, and she has looked up much of this in great detail.

Skinny, just wait until you really get sick. What are you going to do? Go to the hospital and let someone else (the taxpayers) pay for it? Unless you are one of the few who have trust funds???, in which case you wouldn't care about anyone else but yourself.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

Just to let ya know, I voted for Voldemort. He would have made a better governor.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 8 months ago

turn down the volume of tea party and republican ignorance.... they have no platform except the stuff they make up debating each other in Iowa and lie, smear, and practice lots of coded racism. Look on Yahoo for all of the stupid racist comments attached to their stories on the internet. Time to call bs on this koch/gop/tea party idiocy.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Our government has been providing Iraq people with health care since Bush/Cheney why not americans?

The government would NOT be providing me or anyone else with health insurance. OUR TAX DOLLARS would be paying for OUR health insurance thus bringing OUR tax dollars back home to OUR local economy!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

The Brownback and his soldiers are lying to Kansas.

Sandy Praeger got duped by Brownback during the campaign. Sam Brownback will be having a RINO run against Sandy Praeger at first opportunity. RINO's run against democrats and republicans on their platform of deception.

Sandy Praeger is an endangered species aka true republican.

STOP electing RINO’s ! My My father in law left the RINO party because he is a fiscal conservative socially responsible republican with at least 50 years under his belt. Evermore stunning he is working with the democrat party in Pennsylvania.

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skinny 2 years, 8 months ago

It is not the role of the Government to provide you, the people with Health Insurance!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL would cover every person for all necessary medical care 24/7 to include: * prescription drugs • hospital • surgical, • outpatient services • primary and preventive care • emergency services, • dental • mental health • home health
• physical therapy • rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), • vision care, • hearing services including hearing aids • chiropractic • durable medical equipment • palliative care • long term care

No deductibles No Co-pays

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay approximately $2,700 a year in payroll tax for all health care costs.

Allow IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL be made available to all taxpaying consumers and business then let them make the choice. The mechanism is in place as we speak.

Health care in and of itself would remain a private industry however IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All leaves choice of doctors,clinics,hospital and services across the board to the consumer.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Improved Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All is the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you choose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/

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Mike Ford 2 years, 8 months ago

cheeseburger, did you know the commerce clause verbatim???? do you study the law or are you like the rest of the dimwits who claim to vote for people who are strict constitutionalists who don't know diddly squat about the law other than what the Koch Brothers tell them to know...why do you champion stupidity???? this country is about championing angry and dumb and attacking smart people... keep attacking me like notleft_notright you actually think you can make up your own facts like any smart Michelle Bachmann wannabe ??? man you republicans champion dummies....

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 8 months ago

$31.5 million in federal funds could have outfitted a fair number of currently jobless Kansans with decent-paying jobs relating to health care.

Even if they proved to be temporary, those jobs and the services delivered could have financially benefitted many Kansans for at least some small period of time -- even if the "Obamacare" critics realize their antisocial fantasy of killing public health care.

Hard times be hittin' Kansans. Where's the logic in refusing $31.5 million -- money that, once distributed, puts a hot dog next to the beans?

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cheeseburger 2 years, 8 months ago

tuschie says: stupid stupid country full of stupid people.

You are welcome to leave, and take your vile vitriol with you!

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Mike Ford 2 years, 8 months ago

article one section eight part three of the us contitution...the commerce clause... as a Choctaw Indian I know this clause by heart...congress shall regulate commerce between the foreign nations, the several states, and the indian tribes. buying and selling insurance is a commerce regulated by whom??? the federal government. aren't each of the fifty states dependant sovereigns of the federal government as stated by justice john marshall in the worcester v georgia supreme court case? stupid stupid country full of stupid people. this court was in georgia one of the bastions of the state's rights stupidity that stems from the us civil war and the battle over civil rights in the 1960's. if one wants to be one of these tea party dimwits declare your neighborhood a sovereign entity like peter griffin on family guy when he created peteopia. why don't the clowns try and secede and carry on their stupid temper tantrum??? I pay state farm for car insurance so that no one is left with unfixiable damage. everyone should pay for insurance so that hospitals don't have to charge us more because some people don't or can't pay for hospital services. what a bunch of disconnected and deceived dimwits in kansas and other rural areas.

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AppologiesMyLiege 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback should take the cash and spend it while it's still worth something. Maybe the state, and US taxpayers, will get lucky and Obamacare will get squashed by SCOTUS.

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Ray Parker 2 years, 8 months ago

Federal judges are now starting to kill off the Marxist medical takeover, too. No participation or cooperation with the Marxist medical takeover here. Keep Kansas free, patriots.

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theoljhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh man here we go again with all the comments.......

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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!!!

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Godot 2 years, 8 months ago

I am waiting for the class action suit that alleges discrimination with regard to the waivers.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 8 months ago

The discussion about the $31.5 million giveback is now moot. Obamacare is almost dead! This is a huge victory for business and should spark great optimism.

Atlanta (Legal Newsline) - A federal appeals court has sided with 26 states in their challenge to President Downgrade Obama's health care reform. The 11th Circuit ruled today that a provision of the law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or face an annual penalty is unconstitutional. "ObamaCare is closer to an end," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. "As we have maintained since before the law was first enacted, the individual mandate exceeds the constitutional limits on Congress' authority. "The federal government cannot rely upon Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce in a misguided effort to require that every American purchase government-approved health insurance - whether they want it or not. No public policy goal, no matter how important or well-intentioned, can be allowed to trample the protections and rights guaranteed by our Constitution."

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consumer1 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback has been praised by those opposed to the new health reform law for rejecting the grant, but others have questioned the wisdom in turning down the funding.

and the journal world is doing everything possible to stir the mud on this and pretend it is the National Enquirer.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 8 months ago

The pied piper leads Kansans to Brownbackistan!

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