Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brownback strikes back at Justice Department probe into waiting list for services for physically disabled

April 26, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback said the state is in "full compliance" with providing services to those with disabilities, and criticized a federal investigation into the issue.

Brownback, a Republican, said the dispute arises out of a waiting list for services that started under former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, who is the current secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which forwarded the waiting list complaints to the U.S. Justice Department.

"Effectively, Secretary Sebelius decided upon joining the Obama Administration that Governor Sebelius and her policies were in violation of federal law," Brownback said in a statement.

Federal officials have had a different take on the issue.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom said HHS tried to negotiate an arrangement with Brownback to avoid litigation. "Unfortunately those negotiations were not successful," Grissom said.

The dispute is over a growing waiting list for home and community-based services for those with physical disabilities.

The waiting list now has about 3,500 Kansans, and it takes upwards of three years for anyone on the list to receive services.

Advocates for those with physical disabilities have been filing Olmstead complaints, which was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says states must provide services to people with disabilities to enable them to be more integrated in the community.

Brownback, who took office as governor in January 2011, said much of the waiting list problem started in late 2008 when Sebelius was governor and continued when she went to HHS and Mark Parkinson became governor.

Democratic legislators have noted that the waiting lists grew as state revenues took a historic nosedive in 2008-2010. But now that the state has a projected surplus of more than $600 million, an increase in funding for the programs could reduce or eliminate the waiting lists, they say.

But Brownback said his administration has taken steps to address the waiting lists, including privatization of the Medicaid program.

In a letter he wrote to Leon Rodriguez, director of the Office of Civil Rights in HHS, Brownback said the federal government was trying to force Kansas "to spend money it does not have."


Paul R Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

I've heard this before: Blame the one in office before you got there. Governors and presidents need to get off this song and find a new tune. How about: Take care of the most poor, desperate and sick?

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Can't have it both ways, or can you? So when it occurred during a Democratic administration that it is bad, but when a Democratic President comes in to try to clean up a Republican mess, it's bad too?

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

That's the way that works.

Isn't it strange?

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Yet, you don't want to blame the recession on Bush policies.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 11 months ago

What would the excuse be if the secretary of HHS wasn't the former governor of Kansas?

This is a political argument, not leadership. He's hiding behind expediency, but if the secretary of HHS wasn't the former gov of Kansas he'd have to make up a different excuse.

And he would, too. That's the real problem.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

I you were on that waiting list, you'd probably think the sky was falling.

Mike1949 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the sky could be very well falling. Kansans are loosing rights almost on a daily bases. Now our Governor says religion and religious people have more rights than other people. What ever happened to the United States Constitution that every person has equal rights. Why is it that Republicans don't believe in equal rights for everyone. I am willing to bet that KKK members are Republicans too. I don't know any, so will have to ask some of my republican friends on that one. But I have never figured out why Republicans don't believe in equal rights for everyone as stated in our constitution.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Instead of whining why doesn't he try and solve the problem. I know he hasn't figured out how it can make money for his rich buddies, but he should at least delegate someone to work on it.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

He has figured out how to make money for his rich buddies. He has "privatized" the service. The trouble is you can't skim the money and deliver the service, hence the bristle about the investigation. Brownback should resign. If not, maybe we will see an indictment.

Jimo 5 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback said the federal government was trying to force Kansas "to spend money it does not have."

Some problems aren't solvable by the application of government money.

This is not one of those.

There is no limit to the money that a government "has". Just a willingness to "have" it.

While Brownback may only be politically obligated to pay back his Koch Bros. buddies, he is legally obligated to meet the needs of Med patients (so long as he sucks at the federal teat).

JayhawksandHerd 5 years, 11 months ago

Sixty percent of the time, it works all the time.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

You do hang with an awful crowd. If you know someone bilking the system, Turn them in. I work as a volunteer and I hang with the people waiting. I am sure some will die before the list shortens, shortening the list.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, if I had a dime for each ridiculous post from consumer1 on these boards, there would be $$ to provide for those who need it.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

You use denigration as your defense, as always.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

That could be true, from time to time.

But no. With you, it really is that you have nothing further of value to add. Not for several years now.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know if that is all you have, you do offer coward speak more than I would expect of someone who can type. I just see you as someone eager for attention and full of fear. You seem surprised when you get back what you, yourself offer others.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know is making light of the fiasco Kobach has led Kansas into works as straight up humor. Lots of money lost, Kobach actively trying to decrease legitimate voters and he has helped write a lot of goofy law. I know there have been a lot of bad political hacks but pretending a apocalyptic future where he stays in the political future is funny but not haha.

JayhawksandHerd 5 years, 11 months ago

Governor Sam has turned passing the buck into an art form.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

The buck stops at the Governor's desk, then it is transferred to "corporate welfare and corporate tax cuts"

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm amazed that the Department of (selective) Justice is taking a break from smuggling arms to Mexico to look into this.

Kansass 5 years, 11 months ago

Time for your probe Sam.

I really like the sound of that.

jnixon 5 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't matter who's fault it is that there is a waiting list, fact is- It's still an issue... Take care of the problem, get the folks that are on these waiting lists for assistance the help that the LAW says they are entitled to. Then get the folks that are bilking the system off the payroll! Solution is pretty simple to me Sammy!

kansasgrandpa 5 years, 11 months ago

If you are the man then be the man and do the job. Blame never solves anything. People are dieing in their homes with out the supports they need. They would rather live less and have a life than be locked behind a door where you have a code to get out and no one will give it to you. A nursing home is no place anyone wants to go.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

George Washington on factions and the faction mentality.

‘One of the expedients of party to acquire influence…is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other[s]. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.’

‘They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party … to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by the common counsels and modified by mutual interests.’

‘Liberty … is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction … and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyments of the rights of person and property.’

‘Let me … warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party … in [governments] of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.’

‘The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension … is itself a frightful despotism … the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another …

‘[faction] is a spirit not to be encouraged … And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.’

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

It is my predecessors fault! Therefore I don't have to fix it!

What is this? Grade school? Do your job Brownback.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Why don't you send it and see?

I'll offer a possible response - I've been working hard at fixing the problems I inherited, and have made some modest improvements. If the minority party would focus on helping instead of hindering, we could make much more progress.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Agree with you jafs.

Obama has turned the economy around, albeit not as quickly as we'd want, but better than the Republicans would like. Pumping money into the economy rather than the austerity plans of European governments which are now struggling to avoid a second dip into recession.

I don't know what Sebilus' role was in this problem, but if Brownback is allowed to blame the past, so should the President. Can't switch blame depending on your politics.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 11 months ago

UK is already in a double dip, likely being drawn into it by the Eurozone.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

You are correct progressive_thinker. From what I've heard, the UK government has "made redundant" (UK term for laid-off) many workers in an effort to reduce spending. Unfortunately, such action also reduces tax revenues and the government is having to borrow more to make up the difference. Banks are simply not investing money saved through lower taxes in the economy. Plus, EU countries aren't buying "Made in Britain" because they don't have the cash. Have heard that if you want tickets to the Olympics and live in specific EU countries, you can buy them in Spain where there was a lack of due to less cash in hand.

I'm certain I'm over simplifying the concepts, but then that's my lack of extensive knowledge of the subject and my lack of time to investigate more fully.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 11 months ago

You pretty much have it. Despite all of the hoopla, their repeated austerity plans are continuing to fail. Depending on who becomes French President, there may be a change of direction to something other than an "austerity only" approach to working their way out of this mess.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 11 months ago

Is this part of the Roadmap for Kansas?

Sounds more like Il Marrone is nothing but a backseat driver.

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