Archive for Monday, July 2, 2012

Lt. Gov. Colyer says Republicans may use budget reconciliation to overturn federal health care law

July 2, 2012


— As a state official on Monday revealed a new way to try to kill the federal health care law, health care advocates were encouraging the state to go in the opposite direction and work toward implementing the reforms.

Robert F. St. Peter, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Health Institute, speaks with Jay Angoff, director of Health and Human Services, Region 7; and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger speaks with Tom Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Hospital Association. Earlier, the officials discussed the health care reform decision by the U.S. Supreme Court during a forum put together by the Kansas Health Institute on Monday at the Ramada Inn in Topeka.

Robert F. St. Peter, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Health Institute, speaks with Jay Angoff, director of Health and Human Services, Region 7; and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger speaks with Tom Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Hospital Association. Earlier, the officials discussed the health care reform decision by the U.S. Supreme Court during a forum put together by the Kansas Health Institute on Monday at the Ramada Inn in Topeka.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said Republicans will try to use a Senate rule called reconciliation to overturn President Barack Obama's health care law.

"You can do it through reconciliation because it's a tax," Colyer told the Lawrence Journal-World before a news event marking the reorganization of two state agencies.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold penalties on citizens who fail to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In the decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said the penalties fell under Congress' right to impose taxes.

Brownback and Colyer, both Republicans and ardent opponents of the federal law, said Kansas would not act on advancing that law in Kansas because presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, if elected, has vowed to repeal it.

Many supporters of the Affordable Care Act, however, have said even if Romney wins election he would be unable to repeal the law without a super majority of Republicans in the Senate.

Senate rules generally require 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to break filibusters and take up legislation. But Senate rules also allow a fast track procedure called budget reconciliation to consider some tax and spending bills with a 51-vote majority. Republicans currently hold 47 Senate seats and hope to pick up several more in the November general election.

Meanwhile, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, one of the few Republicans in the country to voice support for the health care overhaul said Kansas should implement a key provision, which would establish exchanges to help consumers buy health insurance.

The clock is ticking," said Praeger at a forum put on by the Kansas Health Institute.

The exchanges would provide a website where consumers could compare and shop for health insurance plans. Last year, Brownback returned a $31.5 million federal grant to assist the state in setting up the exchange. States have until 2014 to set up exchanges.

Praeger and Jay Angoff, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said it would be better for Kansas to set up its own exchange so that it could tailor the system to Kansas' needs.

And last week, HHS announced 10 more opportunities for states to apply for funding to establish an exchange.

"It's a significant giving up of state authority if we don't move forward," Praeger said.

But Colyer said the Brownback administration still intends to await the results of the presidential election.


Hooligan_016 5 years, 10 months ago

Seriously, I give up. The ACA helped me stay on my parent's insurance until I was 26, but whatever, to hell with people my age right? Just give us the finger and send us on our way.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Good points. You are starting to understand Governor Sam's strange little businessman jesus from the C-Street Cult. We better get used to this.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

That's not true. Even the most radical christian sect will let a woman show off her ankles.

youraveragewoman 5 years, 10 months ago

So shall we borrow more money from China to pay for this? We could print more money and make what little money Americans have even more worthless...

Kate Rogge 5 years, 10 months ago

How about reducing the Department of Defense budget?

anotherview 5 years, 10 months ago

The Congregational Budget Office projected that the health care bill will actually reduce our federal deficits. So, no reason to borrow any additional money to pay for it.

notorious_agenda 5 years, 10 months ago

You give what up? You never had to pay once yet! Mommy and Daddy will not take care of you forever.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I'm aware of that. Pretty sure I've been paying for my own insurance for the past year. Helping out those younger than myself or in need, what a concept.

Lawrenceks 5 years, 10 months ago

How about you go get a job like everyone else?? As a tax payer I am not footing the bill for your health insurance! Get used to it! It aint happening!!

Hooligan_016 5 years, 10 months ago

What an asinine response. You are not helping. I have a job. I pay for my own insurance. Unfortunately, in reality, there are those that cannot afford insurance. Everyone should be allowed access to proper medical care. How is this concept so hard to comprehend?

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

"Everyone should be allowed access to proper medical care."

Everyone has always been allowed to access proper medical care. They just have to pay for it. Your concept is easy to comprehend, although your reasoning for me subsidizing your health care is not quite as easy for me to understand. You aren't my son, you aren't even my brother. At best you are distant cousin I wouldn't talk to at family reunions.

Why is paying for your health care MY problem? Why should I give up money I work for to interfere with whether you live or die? None of it is my business. Why are you trying to make it so?

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Access includes the ability to pay the costs, I would think.

And, are you really that callous that you don't care if people in this country live or die?

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

How are taxpayers paying for Hooligan's insurance?

anotherview 5 years, 10 months ago

Lawrenceks: I don't know your income level, so I can't comment on if you will be pay any additional taxes to support the health care system under ObamaCare. However, I do know that you are already paying added costs for either health insurance and/or health services because so many uninsured receive health care from the ER at hospitals. Hosiptals are and have been required for years to provide health care services to everyone, regardless if they can pay or not. These unpaid services increase the costs for everyone else.

As many states are thinking about not participating in the expanded Medicaid program they are getting push back from Hospital Associations. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

"Seriously, I give up."

Thank you. Just so you don't feel bad, if they delete the law, at least you won't have to pay for everyone else. Think of it as a consolation prize.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

" least you won't have to pay for everyone else."

Yes, you will. See another view above.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

OK, you got me. We all pay to some extent for emergency room care. I'll be happy to pay my part for each and every person to get treatment when they have a medical emergency. Take the money, Mr Government, and more power to you.

However, I don't like the idea of paying to treat Tom's ED problem , Dick's massage therapy or Harry's receding hairline.

It's like having really good neighbors on one side and real garbage for neighbors on the other side. Your good neighbors will never ask for anything unless they are having an emergency. And they will always feel sheepish to ask. Your garbage neighbor will ask for something every day or night and will never think twice about it. It's as if they think what you own is theirs.

When you understand that, you will understand why I don't necessarily disagree with anotherview, but still don't like obamacar or any sort of single-payer. Everyone screams about the mandate, and it's oppressive, but our family is not subject to it as we voluntarily do without other things so we can have health insurance. Every month, I have to choose between owning a Les Paul and having health insurance, and I really want a Les Paul. I pay for insurance by giving up things. Why should a person that won't give up things or work as hard as I do get one of the same benefits?

Of course, I'm not Satan (as he doesn't exist), So if a person breaks a leg, falls of his bike, gets shot during the war on drugs or feels suicidal, don't turn them away. Give them critical care and if they can't pay, patch them up as cheap as possible and give them an estimate. We as taxpayers will foot the critical care if they can't. I'd pay anyway if Uncle Sam wasn't taking it, so he's just saving me the time.

Also, I know it's a while off, but when Nov 2 comes around, please write in "liberty275" for president and Kansas governor. If I win both offices, I get us some nice stuff.

At least your vote will matter to someone. <-- That's my new campaign slogan.

hyperinflate 5 years, 10 months ago

Kinda strange for a junior-grade state-level elected leader to be commenting on a federal congressional issue. Oh well. As always, the borg speaks with one voice, once the talking-points signal has been received.

WilburM 5 years, 10 months ago

Exactly. I'm sure he knows all the ins and outs of reconciliation!

Jefferson_County 5 years, 10 months ago

Are you sure they're not Daleks? Eliminate! Eliminate!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Did the voters elect these right wing radicals to over turn Obamacare? The answer is hell no.

This thing about Obamacare is a personal agenda item. The Brownback administration needs to be fired.

Does the entire Brownback administration own stock in the medical insurance industry? In Koch industries?

Right Wing Congressman Paul Ryan - "because rights come from “nature and God,” not the government."

Look like myself and a few million others have been vindicated......

Health care is a human right after all. Because by nature humans need health care.

Brock Masters 5 years, 10 months ago

Obamacare was a campaign issue during the midterm election and yes, the voters did elect these politicians to overturn Obamacare. Why do you think the GOP swept the Congressional seats and the statewide offices? It wasn't because of their charming good looks but in response to Obama's policies.

parrothead8 5 years, 10 months ago

And they failed, just like they're failing at everything else.

notorious_agenda 5 years, 10 months ago

In the instance of repealing non-enacted laws failure cannot be assessed until the law is actually enacted. There is no failure of republicans or the Independents from the supreme court ruling. The ability for states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion to me is not a failure. The finality of this being ruled a TAX is not a failure. There are still several years before anyone can label Independents and Conservatives efforts to repeal this bill a "failure."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

If the goal is establishing a full and complete plutocracy, I agree with you. Long live Rome!!!

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

Rome was a dictatorship. The chosen one had the last word on everything. You'd probably like it.

overthemoon 5 years, 10 months ago

Because they had no idea what the bill really provides. They based their dislike of it on lies and misinformation. Entirely. Shame on those that bear false witness, especially when it affects the health and lives of millions of people.

rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

Health care might be a right but health insurance is not. As far as the right wing radicals being voted in? They were specifically elected to stop Obamacare in 2010. The left wing radical libs pushed the bill through on the "reconciliation" technicality and nobody got a chance to even read it. Now we find that the HHS has the authority to make it up as they go along regardless of the administration. This is lawmaking at its worst! I will grant the fact that there are those in our society that need affordable healthcare. Where we disagree is on the method to deliver that health care.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm curious - what's your suggestion for delivering health care, and do you really believe it's a "right"?

Most conservatives don't believe that, by any means.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

HHS's charge is to implement the law. What did HHS make up that contradicts the legislation?

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

"Health care might be a right"

How might it be?

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Why are all they all throwing temper tantrums like two year olds over this? This is a Republican idea. It's what Mitt Romney did for his state. It's what he said he'd like to do for everyone before the scary-Kenyan-secret-Muslim-pals-around-with-terrorists-takes-our-guns-away-socialist thought it was a good idea.

It's what the Heritage Foundation thought we should do in 1989. It's what Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch thought we should do in 1994. It's what Bob Benett thought we should do in 2007. Heck, Obama campaigned on an idea of using a public option instead of a mandate. You finally get buy-in from a Democrat who accepts a mandate as a compromise and it's suddenly communism and the end of all our freedomz?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

This is the agenda as dictated by ALEC:

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

Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC.

Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country.

Unlike many other organizations, ALEC’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation.

In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to: attack workers’ rights roll back environmental regulations privatize education deregulate major industries * passing voter ID laws.

Nonetheless, this year’s annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. We go to New Orleans to speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. Last month, her organization released 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Corporate USA is the most reliable source of fraud against taxpayers and government...

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.

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.

More on this story:

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Bill Moyers

If you watched the Senate Finance Committee’s markup sessions, maybe you’ve noticed a woman sitting behind Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Her name is Liz Fowler.

Fowler used to work for WellPoint, the largest health insurer in the country. She was its vice president of public policy. Baucus’ office failed to mention this in the press release announcing her appointment as senior counsel in February 2008, even though it went on at length about her expertise in “health care policy.”

Now she’s working for the very committee with the most power to give her old company and the entire industry exactly what they want – higher profits – and no competition from alternative non-profit coverage that could lower costs and premiums.

A veteran of the revolving door, Fowler had a previous stint working for Senator Baucus – before her time at WellPoint. But wait, there’s more. The person who was Baucus top health advisor before he brought back Liz Fowler? Her name is Michelle Easton. And why did she leave the staff of the committee? To go to work – surprise – at a firm representing the same company for which Liz Fowler worked – WellPoint. As a lobbyist.

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard in the old Washington shell game. Lobbyist out, lobbyist in. It’s why they always win. They’ve been plowing this ground for years, but with the broad legislative agenda of the Obama White House – health care, energy, financial reform, the Employee Free Choice Act and more – the soil has never been so fertile.

The health care industry alone has 8 lobbyists for every member of Congress and more than 500 of them are former Congressional staff members, according to the Public Accountability Initiative’s LittleSis database.

Just to be certain Congress sticks with the program, the industry has been showering megabucks all over Capitol Hill. From the beginning, they wanted to make sure that whatever bill comes out of the Finance Committee puts for-profit insurance companies first -- by forcing the uninsured to buy medical policies from them. Money not only talks, it writes the prescriptions.

In just the last few months, the health care industry has spent $380 million on lobbying, advertising and campaign contributions. And -- don’t bother holding onto your socks -- a million and a half of it went to Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, the man who said he saw “a lot to like” in the two public option amendments proposed by Senators Rockefeller and Schumer, but voted no anyway.

The people in favor of a public alternative can’t scrape up the millions of dollars Baucus has received from the health sector during his political career. In fact, over the last two decades, the current members of the entire finance committee have collected nearly $50 million from the health sector, a long-term investment that’s now paying off like a busted slot machine.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 10 months ago

just cherry pick which laws are OK to support and which ones to ignore? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Sounds like Obama to me.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

Is it constitutional to assassinate an American without due process?

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

If the American is part of a war against America, I'd say probably yes. We don't grant enemy soldiers "due process" in wartime before killing them.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

No Jafs. The law is plain. American citizens have the RIGHT, right, (you know what "right" means, don't you?) to due process. Look, it's right here:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United State "

werekoala 5 years, 10 months ago

What if they reside in the middle of a terrorist-controlled region of a foreign country?

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the idea of the Executive Branch being able to unilaterally order the killing of an American citizen. But my understanding was there was some checks/balances from Judicial Branch before going through with it.

And really, the alternative of having this conversation is retarded:

US "Hey, would you please send out Mr. Dirka-Dirka for us to arrest?"

A-Q: "No. Go die in a fire, infidel!"

US: "Oh.. ok then, we'll just be on our way then"

ADVISOR: "Hey, I have an idea, we could fire a missile from a drone at him!"

US: What, and take the chance of killing an American citizen?"

ADVISOR: "Well..."

US: "I told you before, those missiles are only to be used to kill non-American terrorists. And any children or whatever might get in the way. But NO Americans."

ADVISOR: "Well, what do we do?"

US: "We wait. Sooner or later he'll get tired of building bombs, and get a craving for a Big Mac. Then we'll arrest him."


Brock Masters 5 years, 10 months ago

How is working within the system to legally repeal Obamacare giving the Constitution the finger? Are we destined to keep forever any law deemed constitutional? I don't think so. Working properly within the system is a good thing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Given that they'll do nothing to replace a bad fix with a better fix to a badly broken healthcare system, repealing "obamacare" will be nothing but an ideologically and politically based temper tantrum.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

The fix is more broken than the health care. It doesn't take ideology or politicology to know the fix needs to be deleted.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

"Working properly within the system is a good thing."

What would you call it if a person were forced to work in a system and not payed to work in that system. Just exactly which word would you use to describe them?

I know you don't mean that, but pointing it out was the libertarian thing to do.

Generally I think you are right. People that oppose Obama-Care need to use every legal move they can come up with to fight it. There should be a group like that for every law.

But what if some people want to color outside the lines a little? The better Mr Liberty, #1 came up with an idea to protest the law in an illegal way, but in such a way that the crime cannot be punished. I say, run with it. Start a campaign, get enough people on board and bankrupt the law. I wish them luck... but I'm not giving up my health insurance.

When you get more extreme like anti-abortion psychopaths or other domestic terrorists that damage private property or injure or kill people, no mercy. Life in prison. No parole.

rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

@ autie - In the same world that Obama does the same thing. i.e. illegal immigration

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Did any of the other four judges in this 5-4 decision call the mandate a tax?

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the mandate was a tax in the majority decision.

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Roberts said the mandate was a tax, but he was not joined by anyone on his opinion. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a separate opinion that was joined by the other three liberal judges. They thought the mandate was fine under the commerce clause.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

That's frightening to me - how does one conclude that the power to "regulate commerce" includes the power to mandate people participate in commerce?

We've gotten so far from the original idea of so many things that I think we'll never get back to our basic principles.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

The pendulum doesn't really exist. You think it swings, but they are just moving the camera back and forth to foll you. The best thing for America is for government to remain at war with itself and in the meantime leave us alone. If they are arguing, they aren't voting "yea" on more repression.

Gareth Skarka 5 years, 10 months ago

So much for the rule of law.

If Democratic governors had refused to enact the Patriot Act, the GOP would've been on television 24-7, screeching about "traitors" and threatening to send in troops.

I sincerely hope that reasonable, intelligent conservatives will see this for what it has become: a party that puts "their side" above country, to the point of going against laws that have even been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.


notorious_agenda 5 years, 10 months ago

The Democratic side expanded the Patriot Act to levels far beyond what the Republicans did. I sincerely hope that reasonable, intelligent liberals will see it for what it has become.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

When the Patriot Act gets dissected by the Supremes, they are likely to find much of it unconstitutional.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

You lost me at "reasonable". I lost my lunch when I read "intelligent". Conservatives are a sham for the klan and other right wing hate groups (see, I did not use the word "nazi" wilt due respect to all the baggage attached to THAT hate group).

Justwhere in the Mary Blue Hell does it convey the notion that being a "conservative" is a laudable objective to any other political stance, for instance, "intelligent citizen"???

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

I tend to make a distinction between radicals and conservatives. Radicals operate on emotion. Conservatives are traditional and cautious.

rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

@ Yeoman2 - Do us all a favor and read your post. Now ask yourself objectively, "Does this sound like an intelligent, reasoned reply?" There are only two choice here. The wrong one makes you a hater from the liberal left wing.

Richard Payton 5 years, 10 months ago

Governor Rick Scott from Florida said, "I won't comply with health care law." Many governors might pursue this option that Justice Roberts left available for the states to decide if they want to fund Medicare. My question is what happens to all the people on Medicare if a state decides not to get federal funding. Is the state going to cover Medicare on their own or do they drop the program?

Richard Payton 5 years, 10 months ago

I meant Medicaid thanks bozo which in turn makes me a brother bozo.

hyperinflate 5 years, 10 months ago

Medicaid has always been voluntary for a state; however, no governor, no matter how idealistic wants to turn a significant percentage of his/her state's population out on the street without ANY ability to receive medical care.

hyperinflate 5 years, 10 months ago

"Brownie would in a minute."

Don't bank on it. He can holler all he wants but he wouldn't do that because all the connected folks understand that this would be tantamount to encouraging civil unrest. If they were truly of the belief that government has no business in healthcare they would get rid of Medicaid. They don't believe that. They just believe that their buddies should be recipients of the healthcare dollars given by the Federal government. Hence the privatization of Medicaid provider services.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

It's Medicaid, and the federal government will continue to fund it at current levels even if states choose not to expand it in their state.

Of course, the state is still responsible for funding current Medicaid levels in their state.

Liberty275 5 years, 10 months ago

Medicare is federal. Medicaid is federal/state. States don't fund medicare, therefore they can't defund it.

"My question is what happens to all the people on Medicare (medicaid) if a state decides not to get federal funding."

They'll move to another state that has better medicaid.

1983Hawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Out of curiosity, how exactly does the GOP think they can pull off "an effective nullification" of the federal law even if they pick up 4 Senate seats and then use the reconciliation process as an end run around a potential filibuster? Obama would certainly veto any repealer they sent him, and they'd not have the necessary two-thirds majorities in both chambers to override.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

To rich folks, right? Isn't' that the status quo you're cheering for, even though it probably doesn't do you a dammm bit of good?

Jan Rolls 5 years, 10 months ago

These jerks don't care about anyone except their rich friends.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 10 months ago

The court has spoken, so drop it. We are basically voting for or against it in November, and that's they way it should be.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 10 months ago

Photos say it all-two very evil people.

irvan moore 5 years, 10 months ago

the worst part is the one issue voters will continue to elect these idiots to continue wasting our time and money even though it works against their own best interests.

Richard Payton 5 years, 10 months ago

p> shows rates for Kansas and other states. Viewing the current rates with the annual payment makes me scratch my head and say they call that affordable. At $300 to $400 a month I'll have to give up food. Add in that annual deductible and I'll have to give up clothing. Running around naked I'll be thrown in jail so my health care problems are solved.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

Easy, now. I read Payton's post as humorous.

Richard Payton 5 years, 10 months ago

Nanny State wants to control what I drive now? I'll have a big gulp when I want one because I believe in freedom. What happens when illegals show up in the ER do the rates change?? I don't believe that either party is telling us the truth. With ObamaCare you still pay for people showing up in the ER - nothing changed in that aspect.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

If you have insurance and your emergency is legitimate, your insurance pays. If you have no insurance, we pay.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Part of the ACA includes government subsidies for those that can't afford insurance.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm starting to feel like I need to get a Masters in Government to keep up with all the legislative tricks these people use to get their way. Do these people spend any time, like, governing or do they just spend all day trying to figure out tricks to throw at the rest of the country. I suppose if the will of the people were actually behind them they wouldn't have to resort to lies and tricks.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

The Republicans use tricks to obstruct the legislative process and to circumvent it. The ACA was passed by a democratically elected Congress and signed by the POTUS. The Supreme Court has upheld it as Constitutional. Now they're telling us that if they can't get enough votes to democratically repeal it, which obviously they don't think they can, they will use a budgetary trick to cause the ACA to be effectively repealed.

I'm not even sure this is is legitimate use of the budget reconciliation power. Pretty much what I've read from non-biased sources indicate that these Republican Governors don't know what they're talking about.

Here's an idea, Brownback. You and the other Republicans go spend time and come up with a better alternative. Present it to the American people. Quit being obstructionists.

This was a Republican idea in the first place. In the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton was arguing for a national health-care system based on an employer mandate, Republicans were arguing for one based on an individual mandate. Democrats and Obama wanted the Public Option and single payer. The GOP had a hissy fit, so we compromised and adopted the REPUBLICAN idea of an individual mandate.

notorious_agenda 5 years, 10 months ago

It absolutely is as legitimate a use of reconciliation as it was when the democrats passed their (modified and no longer republican idea) ACA on Christmas eve.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 10 months ago

"You" are a "crazy" person... I "hope" Brownie "implements" the exchanges "so" you can get "your" schizo "medication...

Brock Masters 5 years, 10 months ago

Jack, the budget reconcillation power was used to pass the bill before it was determined to be a tax so why, not that it clearly is a tax, reconcilliation not appropriate to use?

rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

@ JackMcKee - Please. That was how the bill was passed or do you really not remember. Nobody got a chance to read it and the bureaucracy of the Department of HHS has the power to make it up as they go along. This is bad legislation. Period. Not a bad idea just bad law. The government should not have this much power.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Jack. I'd like to add that there's a difference between parliamentary tricks and legislation printed in black and white. We saw parliamentary tricks at the state level when the governor "unfunded" the Arts Commission in spite of extraordinary bipartisan efforts to save it. ... Social services ... Education ...

Mixolydian 5 years, 10 months ago

The democrats used reconcilliation to pass The ACA so this would be the correct use of the word "ironic." This assumes the republicans getting the votes in the senate, either 50+ in November or, more likely, some democrat votes. It also assumes, of course, a Romney win.

tolawdjk 5 years, 10 months ago

Of course I just saw an article that Romney said it is a penalty and not a tax.

Roberts also, in a portion of his decision, called it a penalty and not a tax.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 10 months ago

Love ur logic Brownie... gamble away federal money for Kansans, lose, keep standing your ground so your constituents will never see the money. Oh well, its free & they didn't "work" for it, so they don't deserve it anyway. I mean, who would want to help their state by simply complying with the law? When you're in a hole, keep digging as I always say.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 10 months ago

" ... to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." —Moby-Dick, Ch. 135

We all know how that turned out.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

Governor Brownback is not an independent leader. He's obviously following the GOP playbook. A few other governors are doing the same. He is incapable of adjusting to circumstances in Kansas.

Given that Brownback campaigned for governor on national issues and had no inkling of state issues, we should not be surprised at the outcome. Looks like our Lt. Governor has read the playbook and joined the game.

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

There is no end to what Brownback and his brownbackers will do to show the poor and needy that they are second and third class. Hopefully there will be enough Republicans and Democrats to vote him out of office soon.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

Uh, correction." Brownshirts"... you know like the civilian militia that existed in Germany in the 1930's

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

It's the strangest "tax" I've ever seen.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, a tax is a charge passed to support government. We pay income tax to the Federal Government and our stupid dumb as a box of rocks governer sends it back to display his stupidity and opposition to that Federal Government.

A penalty is a charge for failing to obey the law. Like a speeding ticket. Get it???????

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

I'll respond once, but if you continue in that vein, I'll stop.

This is the only "tax/fine" that I'm aware of that's imposed for not doing something at the federal level.

If you think I'm some sort of Brownback supporter, read my posts. I think he's a terrible governor.

Taxes are generally levied on the entire population, with some exceptions, and fines are generally levied for activities, not "non activities" like not buying health insurance.

This opens the door to "taxes" of all kinds for failures to buy products - would you like to pay a tax for not buying a tv?

SeaBee 5 years, 10 months ago

Please just stick with the cosmetic surgery, Doc.

You're going to need SOMETHING to go back to....

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 10 months ago

Couldn't one of the (apparently useless) reporters have asked Brownie or Coyler, "What do you plan to do if Obama wins or the Democrats hold onto the Senate" or "If Obama is re-elected, will you feel bad about costing your state $30 million or the chance to have input on the health exchange?" I would like hypothetical replies from all posters...

Larry Sturm 5 years, 10 months ago

Why are we letting Brownback to keep spending Kansas taxpayer money on something he can't do anything about.

james bush 5 years, 10 months ago

Is this a Biden moment? in BFD!???..........or just an Obama teachable moment!? Gotta wonder who knows wthigo!

John Hamm 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh yea, Nobody's gonna get health care, everybody's gonna die. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Greedy Liberals!

akuna 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh my, what a nice big hyperbole you have.

bad_dog 5 years, 10 months ago

It's your opinions, not your user name I disagree with. You have also previously stated that there is no connection between religion and your user name, so don't try to lean on that crutch now.

fiddleback 5 years, 10 months ago

"Godless" + "Party of Atheists" being so clearly redundant, that's a wonderful imitation of either a drunken Coulter or a sober Colbert.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, Mr. Colyer. There's this little thing called the Supremacy Clause. Before you get all Fire Eater on us, I suggest you ask Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia (especially poor Georgia), South Carolina, Virginia and the others just how that went for them 150 years ago. It wasn't pretty. And believe me, the Federal government has enough fire power now to make it even uglier.
(My son has a friend who is named, ironically, Braxton. And if you know your history, you'll know just how ironic that is. Braxton has a tee-shirt with a picture of William T. Sherman on it. Underneath the picture it says, "You Mad, Bro?" Only in the south...)

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

Here is the kicker, Fred et. al. you have to actually PASS a bill in the Senate before you can reconcile it with a House bill, and the first Senate bill actually DID get 60 votes before Brown took Kennedy's seat.

If you could just willy nilly pass whatever you wanted through budget reconciliation we'd have the public option.

Sorry GOP, the ACA is here to stay. You're going to have to be content with denying Kansans health care, for now.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

and, by the way, it's the GOP that rewrote the filibuster rules just they so could obstruct any meaningful legislation from getting passed. Obstruct obstruct obstruct. When you don't get your way cry. When you still don't get you way throw a fit.

If you want to see republicans in (in)action have a gander at the last Kansas legislative session.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

and did those GOP senators ever offer an alternative proposal for healthcare reform? Nope. Nada. Ziltch. They just held their breath and pouted. What a bunch of babies. and this behavior on one of the most important issues of modern times.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, I am glad to see one thing on this forum. Referral to the Affordable Care Act as the "ACA" rather than the racist "Ovbamacare" coined by the bigots and racists in the government that truly hate black people and regard our current president a bumbling former slave decendant.

youraveragewoman 5 years, 10 months ago

I know someone who is absolutely certain that there will be a revolt in America someday because those who work are getting tired of paying everything for those who do not work.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 10 months ago

I know someone who is absolutely certain that you perfectly embody the ugly, spiteful, uninformed philosophy of the TEA party - me! "I work, grrrrrrrrr... so you work, grrrrrrr". Almost everybody works; most your tax dollars pay for SS & Medicare for the elderly (i guess you could hate the eldery for not working), and defense. Get a clue, and let go of your paranoia and bitterness.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

well, average, then your friend is an absolute moron because we're already paying for people without health insurance. They go to the ER and revive the most expensive and uneconomical card that can be provided. Then the hospital charges YOUR FRIEND more when she has to go to make up the difference.

It's far more likely you'll see riots if we don't get some control over our out of control health card costs, which are by far the highest of any 1st world country, and, no, we don't have anywhere near the best care.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

Which reminds me, has anyone seen the tweets from the conservatives threatening to move to Canada after the ACA was upheld? These are some really stupid people, folks. This is the Tea Party.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

My absolute favorite had to be when Michele Bachmann called the SCOTUS decision "unconstitutional". I almost fell over laughing.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

They will get health care coverage in Canada.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

and Bachmann is supposedly an attoney. Her law school might want to make sure she actually attended class.

bad_dog 5 years, 10 months ago

Not just an attorney. She's a former "Federal Tax Law" attorney. Her words in a recent interview. That's why she's so well informed on fiscal and tax issues-not.

Alexander Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

LOL GOP kills me, they are trying to find anything to avoid admitting defeat. Meanwhile in their witchhunt, our jobs are being lost in Kansas and nothing is being done to stop it...BUT they are busy stopping Obama.

What kills me the most about all this is that it was a conservatist that was the swing vote. that one GOP.

Anyway, Brownback's time in office is very limited. After all the screw ups he has done and push for tax reduction when we can't afford it.


Patricia Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

Hospital ER's should not be held responsible for giving away services simply because our congress is too busy raking in that lobbying money. It is disgraceful. For all those who think Obamacare is socialist. Think again. Each person carries their own responsibility to care for themselves. But this time, the deck isn't so stacked in favor of the insurance company. I would prefer single payer. I hope this change is a beginning for better health care, or rather fairer access, to health care for all.

George_Braziller 5 years, 10 months ago

Colyer and Brownback continue to amaze me with their head-in-the-sand approach for making decisions. They didn't like the Supreme Court ruling so now they think that holding their breath like petulant children will make a difference.

hyperinflate 5 years, 10 months ago

It'll make a difference for sure. It will mean that the only option that will be available to Kansas come November 7 is to accept an exchange run fully by HHS. Doubtful there will be time to even partner with another state.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 10 months ago

We're attorneys, brainwashed by the socialist liberal higher education machine that encourages empathy and rational thought... wait... oh its coming back... i blacked out for a second. Sorry I forgot I'm not a moron that uses personal identity as a replacement for logical arguments.

leftCoast 5 years, 10 months ago

I think the LG is being a little too optimistic. A new congress could certainly change various numbers in Obamacare via reconciliation if the majority doesn't have sixty votes in the Senate. A new Senate could of course change the cloture rule itself on a simple majority at the beginning of the new Session. I wonder if the republicans would have the nerve to do it though. The democrats certainly didn't try this approach. If Romnycare is any guide as to how many people are likely to have to pay the mandate tax, only about 1% of the population will be so affected. Actually paying the mandate tax might be a cost effective way to go for a would be health system freeloader. Things like the elimination of preexisting conditions exclusions would be tough to do via reconciliation though. I wonder if Kansas will acquiesce to the Feds in setting up an insurance exchange. Mr. Sam, being a true believer, probably will wait to the last minute. He sure has rolled the dice on state taxes. We'll find out in a couple of years if Kansas macro is somehow unique.

weeslicket 5 years, 10 months ago

just wanted to remind everyone of this outlier. "Meanwhile, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, one of the few Republicans in the country to voice support for the health care overhaul said Kansas should implement a key provision, which would establish exchanges to help consumers buy health insurance. The clock is ticking," said Praeger at a forum put on by the Kansas Health Institute."

thank you sandy praeger.

georgeofwesternkansas 5 years, 10 months ago

How much is it going to cost, State and Federal? Can we afford it, How can we afford it?

Anyone willing to walk into this program without the above questions answered is a fool.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 10 months ago

Supposedly, there are cost savings within ACA. Government subsidies to insurance companies and private sector student loans, I.e. Sallie Mae, are examples.

jayhawxrok 5 years, 10 months ago

I am so SICK of Brownback and his cronies living in bizaro-world and refusing to recognize the problem health care is in this country. We finally get some sensible legislation through that benefits the people instead of just lining the pockets of the insurance co's and here come the lame brained Cons to take it all away. The Republican Party should be renamed the Repugnant Party.

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