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Archive for Monday, July 2, 2012

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

July 2, 2012

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— 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.

Comments

jayhawxrok 1 year, 9 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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georgeofwesternkansas 1 year, 9 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.

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weeslicket 1 year, 9 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.

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LeonPhillip 1 year, 9 months ago

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leftCoast 1 year, 9 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.

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BornAgainAmerican 1 year, 9 months ago

Lot's of Liberal Think going on in this forum. How did ya'll get to be such experts on the Constitution?

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George_Braziller 1 year, 9 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.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 9 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.

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Alexander Smith 1 year, 9 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. HA..eat 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.

GO OBAMACARE..

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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youraveragewoman 1 year, 9 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.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 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.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

republicans are sore losers.

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bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

Just how much out of touch are our "leaders" here in Kansas ? Who voted for these clowns anyway ?

http://news.yahoo.com/poll-most-want-obamacare-opponents-move-191724504--abc-news-politics.html

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 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...)

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observant 1 year, 9 months ago

Someone stupider than brownie, that explains his being the Lt Governor

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BornAgainAmerican 1 year, 9 months ago

Looks like the Godless, tax-hiking Party of Atheists were out in force today. Glad I missed it.

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OonlyBonly 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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jimincountry 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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Larry Sturm 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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mycatsrightorwrong 1 year, 9 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...

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bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

Why don't these people want to provide health care for the disadvantaged ?

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Steve Swaggerty 1 year, 9 months ago

Is it just me or...if Colyer grew a little mustache wouldn't he be the spitting image of Adolph Hitler?

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SeaBee 1 year, 9 months ago

Please just stick with the cosmetic surgery, Doc.

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

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Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 9 months ago

Colyer called it a tax. Wrong.

It is a mandate to carry insurance, failure to carry insurance triggers a tax. There is a difference.

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friendlyjhawk 1 year, 9 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.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 9 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.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 9 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.

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mycatsrightorwrong 1 year, 9 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.

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Mixolydian 1 year, 9 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.

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Caz Snwot 1 year, 9 months ago

guns and bombs and guns and bombs and guns and death and bombs and hate and fear and guns and bombs and hate and fear and.....oh yeah....and god.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 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.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Judging these emotional 'outbursts' in this thread, complex Bitter Clinger Liberals get 'mad' when their handouts are 'threatened'. Their "civil discourse" evaporates.

They now believe the gospel 'written' by Flex, requires that someone else should mend their 'owies'

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Richard Payton 1 year, 9 months ago

Healthcare.gov 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.

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irvan moore 1 year, 9 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.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 9 months ago

Photos say it all-two very evil people.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 9 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.

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Jan Rolls 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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weiser 1 year, 9 months ago

Just give it away for free; and let kids stay on their parent's insurance until they turn forty.

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1983Hawk 1 year, 9 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.

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Richard Payton 1 year, 9 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?

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Gareth 1 year, 9 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.

Shameful.

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Gotland 1 year, 9 months ago

Good! Obstruct. The more you fight them now the less they can pass.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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autie 1 year, 9 months ago

In what world can idiots like Sammy Brownsnacks just cherry pick which laws are OK to support and which ones to ignore? Probably somewhere in his oath to become Governor it says something about supporting the constitution of the United States and now he gives it the middle finger? I got Mike Pompeo's email weekly letter and that idiot spouts the same old lame not true talking points the rest of them do. It says at least 76% of the penalty payers will be from the >$120 K group...duh...did it take a think tank math guy to figure that one out? I think Brownback and Coyler should be arrested for fomenting rebellion. And when did a 'wait and see attitude' ever do anybody any good?

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Bill Moyers

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

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.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 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: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 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.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

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chootspa 1 year, 9 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?

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 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.

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hyperinflate 1 year, 9 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.

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Hooligan_016 1 year, 9 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.

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