Archive for Monday, October 24, 2011

Brownback’s rejection of health insurance grant continues to spur questions

October 24, 2011, 3:15 p.m. Updated October 25, 2011, 8:44 a.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to reject a $31.5 million federal grant to start a health insurance exchange stirred up controversy and confusion on Monday.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told legislators that the state is in danger of not meeting a crucial deadline in implementation of the exchange.

Under the federal Affordable Care Act, the exchanges are meant to provide online marketplaces where consumers can shop for health insurance and receive subsidies, if eligible.

But Praeger conceded that development of the exchanges and the entire federal health reform law could be altered by legal decisions or the outcome of next year’s presidential and U.S. Senate elections.

“At this point, we just have to look at what is on the books today,” she told the Special Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance.

“Tomorrow this could all change,” said Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who is a vocal critic of the health reform law.

Praeger said even though that’s true, “It’s still important to stay at the table and deal with the uncertainties, otherwise it will be done to us.”

The issue of establishing a state-based exchange in Kansas was dealt a blow in August when Brownback rejected a $31.5 million “early innovator” grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Brownback, who had earlier supported the grant, rejected it, saying there were too many strings attached to the federal funding. He said his administration would not move forward on implementing the ACA until the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on whether the law, signed by President Barack Obama, was constitutional.

Praeger said it is possible the court could rule on the case as early as June.

The exchanges are supposed to be in effect by 2014, and Praeger said the state was in danger of not being able to meet that deadline unless the Legislature next year agreed to move forward.

She said the federal government will implement an exchange in Kansas if the state doesn’t. Kansas would lose some flexibility if the feds put in the exchange, she said.


LJ Whirled 6 years, 8 months ago

Obamacare = unlawful usurpation of State sovereignty. j.s.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

It's perfectly "lawful." What the Supreme Court must decide is whether the laws that enable it are constitutional.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, what the SC will most likely rule unconstitutional is the individual mandate to buy health insurance, which is part of "Obamacare", not previous laws.

fastwalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Which would mean 'bamacare is fractionally unconstitutional. Which would mean the entire package of legislation is worthless.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

To my knowledge, the appellate courts who have ruled this unconstitutional have only struck down that portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to by the Rovianesque euphemism "Obamacare." Typically, when the Supreme Court takes on a case, it confines itself to either sustaining or overruling only those sections of a law already overruled by the lower courts.

But they can do pretty much whatever they want, and the conservative wing of the Roberts Court has already demonstrated that they're comfortable being judicially active.

If they confine themselves to sustaining the lower courts' rulings that the insurance mandate is the only section that's unconstitutional, there are going to be some mighty pissed off insurance companies, who pretty much own the Republican Party.

So my prediction is a very broad decision, striking down the whole thing (it'll be interesting to see what grounds they come up with.)

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

I predict they'll strike the insurance mandate, and leave the rest.

There's a good argument that regulating insurance companies may fall under the ICC, while the mandate does not.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

It certainly is not "lawful" to force a citizen to buy a product against his will.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, some distinctions would be good.

It is apparently lawful for states to require auto insurance, isn't it?

State and federal government have different scopes and different authorities, and that's by design.

Or do you think that people have the right to drive without insurance?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

but you do not have to drive a car and if you do not you cannot be required to buy that product!--There you have your distinction!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

You said "it's not lawful to force a citizen to buy a product against his will".

If somebody doesn't want to buy auto insurance, that logic would imply they shouldn't have to do so, even if they own a car.

Your next distinction is ok, but the more important one is the distinction between the state and federal governments.

friendlyjhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Now I see the real relevance of the shortage of drugs the states are experiencing. You aren't taking yours!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't think you even dealt with the fact that this law is unconstitutional.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 8 months ago

So sam the sham is saying that he didn't read the grant application when he approved of it but now he has read it. He doesn't even realize how stupid he sounds but of course that's the norm for this idiot.

fastwalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, fido, congratulations on catching the mildest of gaffes. you are so, so much smarter than the governor.

liberals and/or whiners: get used to brownback - he'll have a second term, and he'll enjoy a majority of state legislators backing him throughout both terms. he gets to do whatever he wants, whether you like it or not.

fastwalker 6 years, 8 months ago

funny. i am neither christian nor conservative. i consider myself a centrist. how is he destroying the state any more than any other governor we've had? you are a partisan hack.

what is it with the zombies here...

fastwalker 6 years, 8 months ago

you're certainly not thinking for yourself, obtuse - that's obvious.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

so you hate all Christians and conservatives--how about talk issues and not hate--you see your comment proves it is the left that hates!

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

One term, one long destructive term. He is destroying infrastructure that generations of Kansans have built over decades. The rest he is selling on the block to cronies for pennies on the dollar.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't think you are correct. In fact, it is Brownback who is restoring our state from the liberalism that has dominated the past few years! Look at the arrogance of the Sebelius Administration destroying medical records needed in a court case just to protect their abortionist friends! That is what it looks like happened from the facts we now have!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

That is a clearly odd interpretation of the facts.

From what I've read, the records were destroyed in accordance with normal policies, and the lawsuit wasn't even filed for another several years.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

why are liberals always apologists for the abortion industry?

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

I notice you don't respond to the facts in my post, and instead choose to denigrate me personally.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

how were you denigrated personally?--I don't think so...

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

Not knowing what you are signing, when you have taken the responsibility, is not a mild mistake. Changing your mind and explaining why would be more responsible. He is not being responsible to the people. He serves the money lenders.

Ken Hunt 6 years, 8 months ago

If you read the health care law and own a small business and you are already providing health coverage to your employees you will save $$$. If you have a good business manager or health care manager they will tell you. Often people get caught up in the personal issues and not the data in the details. Any business owner will tell you we can't continue with near double digit premium increases each year. It is not perfect but you will save $ - we will be saving $. Keep an open mind and compare the costs.

tomatogrower 6 years, 8 months ago

Most people here have no idea what this bill is about. They don't own businesses; they probably don't even have kids. The insurance exchange will open up the country to true competition of insurance companies. Something the Kansas conservatives were pretending to favor, until they realized their handlers (corporations, specifically insurance) would lose money, because they would have to compete. If the conservatives would stop being against anything that Obama proposes, just because it's Obama, then maybe they would see the benefits for all the people. Of course the conservatives are only concerned with corporations. They could care less about the people.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

The insurance "exchanges" are just a way to takes us further down the slippery slope toward socialized medicine which means inferior health care for all. --Unless you are rich and then you can buy your own-- just like Animal Farm says--some are more equal than others. Big government is not a "good thing' it is very destructive to our nation and our values.

mloburgio 6 years, 8 months ago

Thanks To Obamacare The Healthcare Industry Added 44,000 Jobs In September The numbers for employment just came out last week and the American economy added over 100,000 jobs. Now the Republican Party will tell us that the reason job growth in this country is slow is due to regulations, specifically, ObamaCare.

If this was the case, the industry that is directly regulation should be the first to lose jobs and stop hiring. So let’s look into the healthcare employment numbers.

Just in the month of September of 2011, the healthcare industry added 44,000 jobs, with 13,000 being in hospitals and 26,000 in ambulatory services.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Obama-care is a total disaster for what it will do to the great practice of medicine in this country! Socialized medicine always lowers the quality and produces great abuses!

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

No Obamacare until they address costs with the bill. Otherwise, it helps only one segment of society while placing the exponentially growing burden on everyone else.

Wadde 6 years, 8 months ago

it was rejected because State of Kansas is broke and on a budget try it again in 2013 the rejection was not a prejudice towards Obama,State of Kansas is seriouly broke and on a budget..try 2013.

tomatogrower 6 years, 8 months ago

The federal government was giving him the money to do this. Now we will have to do it on our nickle.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Sandy Praeger is likely on the RINO hit list come next election cycle.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Sandy Praeger just continues to demonstrate to all of us conservatives why she needs to be voted out in the next election!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Being a RINO conservative is being narrow minded and reckless like Brownback. RINO's believe their personal beliefs should be the law.

Whereas Sandy Praeger is a fiscal conservative as she has demonstrated a few times on this issue alone. Sandy Praeger is a smart woman on fiscal issues and is making the state of Kansas a priority.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Sandy Praeger is a disaster as a Republican! When she announce her support for Obama and his destructive health care agenda she lost the support of most Republicans in Kansas! Wait until the next election if she decides to run it will be a huge issue for her to have to face with the GOP!

bad_dog 6 years, 6 months ago

One could make many of the same conclusions regarding Gov. B.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.