Letters to the Editor

Letter: Ineffective Congress

September 27, 2013


To the editor:

Obamacare was passed into law. The latest round of obstructionism in the U.S. Congress is disturbing on many levels. How can we support partisan behavior toward law and national viability? Besides us, who to demand better from our Kansas delegation?  The opponents to this new beginning for health care are afraid to give it a chance, because they fear it will work and they will receive no credit for its creation.  

Fox, Hannity and Huckabee have distorted the facts so effectively that most Kansans completely misunderstand it and therefore refuse to support a law that benefits them. These well-paid fountains of media misinformation prefer a broken health care system run amok to something fair to all: young, old, poor and middle class. Shame on them.  

If wealthy American citizens support representatives who vote for a shutdown of government, it’s truly a dark period for them and for America. The repercussions will be on them. The current Congress is ineffective. They have a record low 18 bills to showcase their 2013 do-nothingness, including the “Freedom to Fish Act” in Tennessee.

What happened to the nation where selfless behavior, generosity and altruism prevail? We have a complex country to run; we need jobs, not an ideology popularity contest. We should be promoting stronger cohesion and strength of the group as a whole, particularly in hard times, not defunding a law in favor of corporatism, greed and privilege. Come on, Congress, get busy compromising on budget cuts, not rehashing health care.  


Brock Masters 4 years, 9 months ago

It is not only Congress who won't give it a chance. You may recall our president has issued waivers, exemptions and delayed the employer mandate.

A good law deserves equal and full application.

David Reynolds 4 years, 9 months ago

I think the operative term here is good.

If it is so good why are so many organizations requesting & getting exemptions, including the very folks who voted to pass the law?

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

The Congress already has insurance. How would they be exempt?

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 9 months ago

Not to mention, the ACA "law" was passed by only democrats. Not one republican vote for it. That hardly represents the American people. That is why there is strong opposition to this bad law.

Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

So by your logic Tony, MSN, CNN, ABC. NBC ....are telling us the actual facts?

BlackVelvet 4 years, 9 months ago

Hey Hepburn, they all lie on a regular basis-to fit things into their idealogy. Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, all of them. If you don't think this is true, you are fooling only yourself. Just like all the Dems claimed Bush lied (about damn near everything) the Repubs think Obama lies. Neither side is very honorable anymore. And neither side really gives a damn about what the American people want.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Including Fox with the rest of your examples is misleading. Fox isn't actually a news source at all, they're "entertainment".

OlDan 4 years, 9 months ago

"The opponents to this new beginning for health care are afraid to give it a chance, ..."

My fear is that it won't work and that it will wreak economic havoc on our country.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 8 months ago

Then you have a very poor grasp of how the economy and the country work, and someone has taken advantage of that fact to lead you to believe this is possible.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 9 months ago

Ok, so what if it wont work? Wreak havoc, I don't think so. We have a healthcare problem, it is solved even over the objections of republicans who can't get over losing that battle. And what did the repubs bring to the table. Nothing, zilch, nada. Why, because they cannot govern. Look at the mess the last one made.

We need to try this health care program and give it a chance. Parts of it won't work, maybe, then we will fix that part, not destroy the whole program. It is good, let's do it and let it work.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 8 months ago

The republicans have repeatedly invited the President, but he will not talk to congress about Obamacare and will not bend at all. He won't talk or change and calls republicans "terrorists" which are his own countrymen. It appears that the only way is to have impeachment proceedings started on the President to humble him into doing his job and serving the American people instead of playing dictator.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago


After the constant obstruction from R, even on things that they otherwise would support, you want/expect the president to go and play nice with them?

And, if he doesn't, you suggest impeachment?

An odd set of ideas, from where I sit.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

"My fear is that it won't work and that it will wreak economic havoc on our country."

I think that fear has been generated by the obstructionists and their media. I agree with most of the sentence, except the subject of that sentence for me would be climate change, not the Affordable Care Act. No act with such sweeping changes is perfect in the very beginning, and I'm pretty sure this one will need some tweaking, but in the long run it is a plan that is long overdue and will better serve the majority than the minority.

Any additional economic havoc in the U.S. won't be caused by Obamacare, it will be caused by some of the worst obstructionism, and cronyism, this country has seen in over a hundred years.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually, Buffet said he supports the ACA, and that his comments have been taken out of context and misrepresented.

OlDan 4 years, 9 months ago

Obamacare appears to be an unmitigated disaster. It was passed illegally without the House ever voting on the Senate bill and beame law absent a single Republican vote. The only major legislation ever enacted on a strict party-line vote. SCOTUS had to violate the Constitution's separation of powers to uphold Obamacare as a "tax" despite the fact that no elected body could ever have enacted such a massive tax hike even with the sleazy parlimentary tricks used to pass this bill. Congress and staffers have more or less received an exemption from Obamacare from POTUS. Although they will be enrolling in the exchanges, they will be subsidized irregardless of their salaries. This option is not abailable to the general public. These are the same politicians who lecture us that Obamacare is the supreme law of the land (so are immigration laws), the same ones who huffily announce that SCOTUS upheld it (SCOTUS also upheld the First Amendment in Citizens United, but that doesn't stop Obama from demanding Congress overturn the First Amendment), the same ones who tell us that Obamacae is the right thing to do, the same guys who essentially waived Obamacare for themselves. In every category of Crap Forced On the Country by the Left, liberals always have a work-around for themselves. Examples are everywhere.

Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually I think we should just go ahead and implement Owebamacare. Let the D's take full ownership of this and also ownership of the fallout. Hell this could be the best thing to happen to the Republican party in years.

JohnBrown 4 years, 9 months ago

I just love how the RINOs (= caffeinated republicans) claim to be such economic experts...and they are wrong every time. Even Kansas employment has dropped for the last 3 months..after all they did to cut taxes to "create jobs".

&0% of the economy depends on consume spending. No company will increase production beyond the demand for their products just because the company got a tax break. Jobs are created when demand goes up. Demand goes up when people have cash.

Tax breaks to the wealthy just don't cut it. When will the RINOs learn this? O'Bamacare is an economic train wreck? What was a train wreck was the 2008 economic collapse...caused by RINO economic and tax policies.

Boy, what economic experts!!!


Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

There will be different Congresses. And presidents. We just need to prevent the insurance industry from being destroyed before republicans repeal the aca.

In the meantime, I applaud any and every effort to hinder the aca.

Mark Pickerel 4 years, 9 months ago

The insurance industry appears to be fully behind the ACA. They love the mandate, in particular. I don't understand your reasoning here...if there was any to begin with.

I think Single Payer is the ultimate answer, because it puts the negotiating power of our government to work to reign in costs of equipment, procedures, and prescription drugs.

I'm tired of our country paying for everyone else's drugs, aren't you?

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

My reasoning is that if enough young people don't buy insurance while the government is forcing the insurance industry to limit prices and increase coverage, insurance companies will fail. If they fail, it will take time to rebuild similar corporations after the ACA is repealed. That will make finding health insurance almost impossible for a year or two.

Single payer is worse than the aca because it will allow the government to intrude even further into our lives.

"I think Single Payer is the ultimate answer, because it puts the negotiating power of our government to work to reign in costs of equipment, procedures, and prescription drugs."

The government, with all it's jet planes, tanks and armoured battalions cannot make a corporation sell anything at a certain price. If the corporations don't sell drugs, they won't develop drugs and then the point is moot. Everything would soon enough be a $4 generic at walmart, and we will never find a cure for even the common cold.

Health care is expensive and that is bad. Allowing the government to dictate prices is worse.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

They aren't being forced to "limit prices" - that's actually a flaw in the system. The only limitation is that they have to spend a certain amount on actual care, something like 80%.

So, if costs for them rise due to increased coverage, they can raise rates to cover it, as far as I know.

Trumbull 4 years, 8 months ago

Also, more people will be buying coverage. This can only increase revenues for the insurance industry. This is good for the insurance industry because at current, many employers are dropping coverage because it is becoming more expensive to them as the pool shrinks.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

The only way it will be repealed is if there's a R president, and a R majority large enough that the D can't filibuster.

I'd say the likelihood of that happening is rather small.

Why do you applaud efforts to obstruct the law? In other posts, you've claimed a great allegiance to it.

And, I agree with the other response - in some ways, this is a boon to the insurance industry, which was involved with creating the legislation.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 9 months ago

The way the democrats are making enemies over ACA, their outlook for 2014 doesn't look too good.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Filibusters are procedural and the republicans will not bat an eyelash getting rid of them to repeal the aca.

The likelihood depends on elections and little else.

"Why do you applaud efforts to obstruct the law?"

I don't like it. Do I need another reason?

"In other posts, you've claimed a great allegiance to it."

I pledge no allegiance to anything. That's for brainwashing little kids. I will defend the constitution however because it is mine. Lesser laws are not mine. They are forced on me.

I can pick and choose which ones I support and which ones I fight. The Constitution protects that right..

Mostly it is pretty simple. If an action violates the rights of another person, I'll support a law against it. If an action does not violate the rights of others, there should be no law regarding that action.

"this is a boon to the insurance industry"

That may certainly turn out to be true and I hope they make lots of money. If it goes bust, there will be problems we can't even really comprehend right now. I want to see the insurance corporations prosper, but I don't want to pay a tax penalty if I decide I don't want to give those corporations my money.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

What does that mean? My understanding is that unless one side or the other has enough votes to overcome them, the filibusters will work.

Yes, of course - and I'm saying it's extremely unlikely we'll have that combination any time in the foreseeable future.

In other stories, you've said things like "We should do whatever the law says", without any discussion of the law in question and whether or not it's a "good" one.

I'd suggest that you consider the possibility of doing what you would do regardless, and not getting too caught up in a reactive mindset. If you would get insurance, just get insurance. Then there's no issue for you.

Brock Masters 4 years, 8 months ago

jafs isn't Obama obstructing the law by not taking enforcement action against employers who don't comply? The law says they must, but he isn't enforcing it. Isn't that obstruction?

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 8 months ago

It is the President not executing the laws faithfully, and is grounds for impeachment.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Last time I checked on this one, HHS has the job of administering the program, and can choose when to start enforcement of various provisions.

So, the answer would be no.

FarleyM 4 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't matter from which party the congress is from. They all fall into line when arriving. Occasionally, congress gets honorable people like Taxed Enough Already party member Cruz. But, eventually, he'll acquiesce. Go along privately, to get along .

Obamacare has nothing to do with quality healthcare. It is about the money used to buy insurance. It is about the bet you are making to get sick. Obamacare wants the money. They want the action spent on the bets. Healthcare for your poor defenseless, 26 year old child living in the basement, is the used to tear at your heart, to get to the money you spend on insurance for him.

JohnBrown 4 years, 9 months ago

So Liberty, are you for big government telling women what their doctors can and cannot do? Or are you for the liberty of those women, and the physicians, to go about their business without big government interfering?


Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Mr Brown, I support abortion on demand for women of age until the child is delivered. Minors may be subject to limitations in acquiescence to the parents, but those limitations may be over-ridden by a judge.

Was that the answer you wanted? :-)

Since you have this concern about government intrusion into women's lives, do you support the repeal of laws forbidding women (and men) from having sexual intercourse in exchange for money? Should women be allowed to put heroine in their body? Should they be allowed to choose the time they die?

What is your stance on the right of women to control their bodies?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

"Come on, Congress, get busy compromising on budget cuts, not rehashing health care. "

Be careful and be more specific. The wrong budget cuts cut off OUR tax dollars to our communities thus up in smoke. Nothing like giving local politicians the urge to raise taxes,fees etc etc etc. without our consent.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Here is the truth on what it does and how it helps: • Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children: Health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre-existing condition. This gets expanded to everyone in 2014. • Keeps Young Adults Covered: If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s health plan. • Ends Arbitrary Withdrawals of Insurance Coverage: Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage just because you made an honest mistake. • Guarantees Your Right to Appeal: You now have the right to ask that your plan reconsider its denial of payment. • Ends Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans. This helps people, who because of an illness that is long lasting or expensive, will meet the insurance policy lifetime limit. • Reviews Premium Increases: Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes. • Helps You Get the Most from Your Premium Dollars: Your premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care – not administrative costs. • Covers Preventive Care at No Cost to You: You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services. No copayment. • Protects Your Choice of Doctors: Choose the primary care doctor you want from your plan’s network. • Removes Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Services: You can seek emergency care at a hospital outside of your health plan’s network.

deec 4 years, 8 months ago

The administration does not pass budgets. Congress does.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Any law that is handed down to citizens but not applied to their representatives is tyranny.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

That was from a facebook post. I don't really know how to acknowledge the author without violating their privacy.

It is a beautiful sentence and not one I have the ability to craft.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 8 months ago

Liberty, "The Affordable Care Act says that starting in 2014, members of Congress and their staffs can no longer get their health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, as they have in the past. Instead, these federal employees will have to get insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. Other Americans with work-based insurance aren’t subject to such a requirement. They can continue to get health insurance through their employers. Other federal workers, too, can continue to select health insurance plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. But not Congress. Why the unusual requirement for lawmakers and congressional staffers? This provision was added when health care bills were being debated, out of Republican concern that Congress get the same insurance that would be offered to some Americans through this legislation — insurance sold through state-based and federal exchanges. Those exchanges are for individuals who buy their own insurance, including the now uninsured, and small businesses." -factcheck.org

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

That's why the Tea Party is against it? They'll have to buy their own insurance. What a hoot!!!

OlDan 4 years, 8 months ago

tomatogrower: This is just plain wrong and amounts to little more than partisan sniping. The fact remains that Congresss and staffers will be subsidized irregardless of income, age, etc. This option is not available to the general population so little changes for pollitiicans. Clearly, this amounts to an exemption for Congress.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Sort of.

They'll still have to buy insurance through the exchanges, so they'll be buying the same insurance policies as everybody else, coverage wise.

OlDan 4 years, 8 months ago

Do you not believe that politicians will opt for the platinum plan with subsidies to help pay the fare? Pretty sure it's comparable to what they currently have.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Sure, they probably will.

But, the only difference between the levels of plans are the premiums and out of pocket expenses - the coverage is identical.

I was surprised to find that out, and had assumed that the different levels implied different kinds of coverage.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

You just don't get it. They will still have to have health insurance like the rest of us. Do you have insurance through your company? If you do, nothing changes for you. You're insured. No problem. If you are offered insurance through your company, but you have to pay for half of it, and you decided that you'd rather use that money for something you don't need so you don't take the insurance, you can't do that anymore. You either need to sign up for the insurance offered through your employer, or get it on the exchange. It really is that simple. I say if people don't have insurance, and don't have the cash to pay are leaches. Don't be a leach.

OlDan 4 years, 8 months ago

Not sure who you are addressing when you say "You just don't get it". I get it that Congress will have to go through the exchanges. I also "get it" that Congress will be subsidized. It matters not how much money they make or how old they are. Many employers are sending their employees to the exchanges and refusing to offer insurance. Some are giving these employees what amounts to a subsidy but most are not. Employees who do not qualify for a subsidy will have to foot the whole insurance bill on their own. Is it fair for Congress to receive a subsidy when many are not receiving one? Now then...do you "get it"?

verity 4 years, 8 months ago

You've just put the lie to one of the favorite talking points. I was going to, but you beat me to it. Thank you.

Trumbull 4 years, 8 months ago

Ineffective is an understatement. They are threatening to shut down congress and using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip. This is very risky to us and could result in the 2nd downgrade of our debt, which before these antics was unprecedented.

A downgrade of our debt could increase the interest rate the treasury pays on debt, thus increasing our debt even more. It might also shake the financial institutions and Wall Street. This could result in a market crash.

To risk all of this, and for what? Because of the Affordable Health Care act? There is a lot of work to get done to improve a rebounding economy and this obstructionism is only slowing us down. The health bill is not perfect, but it is an improvement. I bet it is even opposed by folks it will benefit for having a lack of knowledge or not liking change.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 8 months ago

The U.S. House of Representatives costs about 1 million per day. Maybe, we should put them on a budget. Every year, Congress is supposed to have the budget set before October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Their pay should be docked if hey don't complete their responsibilities.

Attaching Obamacare to the budget bill is cowardly. Why can't Obamacare be discussed separately instead of being used as a political tool?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Obamcare was discussed openly and legislation was passed.

This ALEC Right Wing Party posing as republicans simply believe that no laws or legislation apply to them or their agenda.

Place Medicare Single Payer Insurance on a ballot this November and allow the citizens to decide. Congress Revise Medicare Then Open It Up To Taxpayers = it pays for itself

There are more than 50 million taxpayers who simply cannot afford the medical insurance industry. This industry is designed for the 1% no one else. Certainly not all of the 1% can appreciate the inflated premiums.

50 million new enrollees will more than pay for the Medicare Single Payer Insurance program. How? More than $1.4 trillion tax dollars flow into the industry annually. That is more money than is necessary to cover the cost of the Medicare Single Payer Insurance model on the table as we speak. http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources

Leave the choice to the taxpayers knowing more than 50 million will want to sign up almost immediately. Thus the program cost is covered.

After all the more than $1.4 trillion tax dollars mentioned above belong to the taxpayers not elected officials. Medicare Single Payer Insurance is far more efficient use of my tax dollars so why procrastinate any further. This is one effort that would improve the nations economy and job market pronto.

Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

David Albertson 4 years, 8 months ago

I love watching all you Republicans whine and cry. It's entertaining. Keep it up.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Shutting down government over Obamacare = GOP threatening to Default on the nations debt which is remarkable and insane.

This would be the third major global financial crisis created by this GOP. The first was set off by the Reagan/Bush home loan fiasco. The second by selling bad bundles of home loans to banks world wide under the watchful eye of Bush/Cheney. Henry Paulson was turning a blind eye while Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was denying the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going.

This will screw over the very smart and very rich people, the central banks of Japan, China, and many other countries that hold a large share of their assets in U.S. government bonds. The government of the United States has never defaulted on any bond obligation. The GOP appear to be ready to break this tradition.

This GOP obviously feels the United States doesn’t have to meet its obligation to the working people or its obligations to ultra-wealthy bondholders. The suggestion that the U.S. government might not be willing to repay its debt obligations is remarkable and will completely disrupt global financial markets.

Republican Party shutting down the government is stupid and reckless beyond belief. That shuts down trillions of tax dollars coming to our communities nationwide which could very well cause a ton more unemployment. Have these people no brains?

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