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Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brownback: Wait for November to act on health care

June 28, 2012

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— Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he wants to wait until after the November presidential election to move Kansas toward compliance with a key provision of the federal health care overhaul upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brownback told reporters that putting the 2010 health care law into effect in Kansas and other states is a political issue to be resolved by voters.

"If the American people don't want Obamacare, it's a political issue, and it's about this fall presidential race, whether or not you want to implement it," Brownback said. "I want to see what happens in the fall."

Brownback said that if GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney unseats Democratic President Barack Obama, who championed the law, states are no longer likely to face a requirement to set up exchanges to help consumers buy health insurance.

The federal law requires each state to operate an exchange by 2014, and plans must be submitted by Nov. 16 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kansas has not started to set one up because of opposition to the entire law by Brownback and fellow Republicans who dominate the Legislature.

Kansas has about 350,000 residents who don't have health insurance coverage, or 12.7 percent of the state's population, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. About 53,000 are children.

Last year, Brownback returned a $31.5 million federal grant to assist the state with the computer infrastructure for an exchange.

Brownback said if Romney is elected, states are likely to get a blanket waiver from the requirement to have exchanges. Under the law, the federal government could operate its own exchange if a state refused to set one up.

The Supreme Court decision is likely to frustrate and anger many Kansas Republicans. Freshman U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a GOP conservative, promised to work for the law's repeal and called Thursday "a definitive date in the advance of government tyranny."

But Kansas House Insurance Committee Chairman Clark Shultz, a Lindsborg Republican, said state officials ought to at least discuss what options Kansas has should an exchange be required.

"It seems that we should at least have something in mind on how we go forward if we need to," Shultz said.

Insurance Department officials, under Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger's supervision, have said they don't believe the state would have enough time to develop its own exchange. They have suggested that Kansas could seek a partnership with the federal government or have the federal government run the exchange.

Praeger, a Republican, didn't touch on those issues in the statement she issued immediately after the law was upheld.

"The law will be refined as we go forward just as many laws are, but it establishes as public policy the importance of everyone in this country having access to affordable health care," Praeger said.

But she also acknowledged: "We are going to have to wait, however, to see what the November election holds regarding the law's long-term future."

Comments

Ragingbear 2 years, 4 months ago

So let me get this straight. The Governor wants us to wait until the Election before Kansas tries to become compliant with Obamacare. The system that was just cleared by SCOTUS. Compliance needs to be in place Jan 1st. So under this advices from our governor (who has done a wonderful job with this state until this point) is to wait until the last minute and maybe get a new president. If not, then rush through the last of November and December in a mad dash to be ready for it.

Nevermind that if Obama is not re-elected that the laws will still be in place, and states will still have to be compliant by Jan 1st. Forget that even if Obama is voted out that he won't turn over the reigns until Jan 14th. Forget that you can't just totally change laws when you become president, that there has to be presentations, votes, challenges, discussions etc for months in order to set it up. The best case scenario that any anti-Obamacare zealot could hope for would be to see it repealed by Summer of 2012. Meanwhile, you have a good 6 months of Federal punishment to the state (in terms of cut funding and even fines) to deal with.

The statement is flawed, and comes from a politician who apparently has no idea how politics actually works. Scary.

ssteve1 2 years, 4 months ago

Oh no. You can send in your money right now! Go on. Do it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike1949 2 years, 4 months ago

Scary? Ever since Brownback was elected this state has had one nightmare after another. He is not only scary, but dangerous! Yea, myself and well over 50% of the people in Kansas wishes he was on the ticket, the ticket for Kansas Governor! When his term is up, I hope he has some job set up from one of those businesses that he eliminated paying taxes. Kansas laws on kicking out a governor must be tough enough to rule out kicking him out of the Governor's office, other wise I am sure there would have been a recall on him.

Not to bright if he plans to wait until the November election, but that isn't all that surprising coming from him!

JackMcKee 2 years, 4 months ago

I wish Brownback was on the ballot this November.

JackMcKee 2 years, 4 months ago

Ragingbear, I hope you were being sarcastic about Brownbacks performance. If not, please share your list of things he has not screwed up. Not done well. Just not screwed up.

George_Braziller 2 years, 4 months ago

It was obviously sarcasm to me. I think Brownback has to be the most incompetent elected official in the history of the state of Kansas. Even my rabidly conservative brother-in-law regrets voting for him.

James Nelson 2 years, 4 months ago

Good Kansans everywhere, this just in - Gov. Brownback has been caught lying to his constituency. He had said many times that no plans to prepare Kansas for health reform would take place until the US Supreme Court ruled on the matter. He was confident the court would rule against the act. Upon learning the court upheld the law he now says Kansas would wait until the November elections prior to taking action. It is unknown how many times he lied about waiting for the court to do his dirty work for him but he now has a new lie to tell.

You know, there have been plenty of laws passed that I didn't like either but I always believed I could not just ignore them. I realized the need to abide by them because they were passed by a majority of the elected representatives of the people. The health care reform laws were also passed by a majority of elected representatives of the people. I say to the governor - didn't you take an oath when you assumed the office of governor to uphold lawfully passed laws? You were not elected God to decide which laws you would abide by and which ones you just didn't like and would ignore. I don't care what your politics are, it seems you have grown too big for your britches and need to be yanked down a couple of notches. No one, not even the bigheaded governor of the state of Kansas, is above the law.

Waiting for the November elections will not bring about 60 votes in the US Senate for you, even if Obama should be defeated.

NOW, NOT LATER, it is time for you, governor, to go hat in hand to the feds and ask for that $31.5 million back that you so stupidly returned earlier to allow the Kansas Insurance Department to start setting up the needed Kansas insurance exchange to benefit Kansans. I don't care if the federal official you need to see is a democrat and former governor of Kansas, get your butt up there.

ssteve1 2 years, 4 months ago

Okay, good. The supreme court upheld obamacare. So.... how does this work for, "choice is good".????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

dabbindan 2 years, 4 months ago

no sam, i'm not sure you will want to see what will happen this fall.

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