Archive for Monday, September 30, 2013

Praeger says Congress shouldn’t defund Affordable Care Act

September 30, 2013


— Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger on Monday criticized attempts in Congress to defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"I think we just go with it, and we work through the kinks, and people are finally going to get some benefits from a health standpoint that they needed to have," said Praeger, one of the few Republican elected officials in the country not opposed to the ACA.

Praeger's comments came right before she spoke to more than 200 people during another in a series of informational meetings she has held across the state about the ACA.

As the meeting started, Praeger asked how many people received health care through Medicare.

Several dozen hands went up.

"If you like Medicare, relax. Nothing is going to change," she said.

Doris Hurtig, 84, of Topeka, was one of those on Medicare.

"I am not for the Affordable Care Act," she said.

Hurtig said her son, who is a cardiologist, told her that new federal rules were forcing him to follow regimented protocols instead of treating each patient individually.


LA 4 years, 8 months ago

When the Affordable Care Act was first being discussed a few years back, my all-time favorite protest placards were by 'old people' with signs saying:

Keep the Government's hands off my Medicare !!!

The same rhetoric playing out now re: 'the end of the world as we know it' also played out in 1965 when Medicare came on line. Gosh, we all lived to tell about it !

Patricia Davis 4 years, 8 months ago

Sandy Praeger is the only Republican I have ever voted for since I came to Kansas 38 years ago. She represents intelligence, integrity, a sense of fairness and compassion. She may be the last Republican in this state who does.

Janella Williams 4 years, 8 months ago

I have said that before too. I'm a loud and proud liberal, and I did vote for Praeger.

Lawrence Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

Doris Hurtig from Topeka is disgusting - the worst of senior citizens. Thank heavens, there are also many hundreds of thousands of impressive ones.

Just because she has Medicare, she pointedly points out that she doesn't want the same care for other, younger people. That is a great problem with many senior citizens - they already have it, so they don't want it for other, younger people. Very short sighted.

In contrast, thanks to Sandy Praeger for pointing out the qualities of the Affordable Care Act, too!

nick_s 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, sounds like Doris is probably not the kind of person who would be truly devastated by any kind of financial burden...even if her cardiologist son made just a shade under $250k this year. Who knows, maybe her son is a cold, bitter person who wouldnt help his mother, but Im betting that Doris will be a-ok regardless of any financial speedbumps.

Jstanobservation 4 years, 8 months ago

Why don't we make all the senators and congressmen take the same healthcare that we all have to deal with to make it even?

elliottaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Considering that's are thousands of different programs in the US we would have to pick one for the whole country, this would drastically lower prices and probably be better overall, but I don't really think that's what you want.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

They are doing exactly that.

A law was passed requiring that Congress and their staff participate in the exchanges.

OlDan 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, with a subsidy not generally available to the population at large. A work-around like this is not really exactly the same insurance offered to all is it.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Some employers offer insurance to employees as part of their benefits package, and others don't. Is that "unfair" in your view? How should we fix it?

Whether or not we, as taxpayers, should offer that to federal politicians is a question worth discussing.

But, there's no particular reason that everybody has to have the same thing, is there?

The care offered in the exchanges will be the same for all plans, from bronze to platinum - that means that congresspeople will have the same exact coverage that anybody in the exchanges has. This was some sort of big point for the right, that they wanted that to happen, and it did.

In fact, they thought that suggesting that would derail the left, and were surprised when those on the left simply agreed with it.

FarleyM 4 years, 8 months ago

A government official in favor of Corporatism. Not a surprise.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 8 months ago

Sandy, the democrats would welcome you to switch parties. You have always been a voice of reason in Kansas politics. The GOP has lost it's way. You and I both know that good government does not equal no government.

Bob Forer 4 years, 8 months ago

I think she is okay right where she is. The republican party in Kansas used to be a party of mostly moderate and decent folks, and not too much different than the democrats. She needs to stay where she is at and keep the imposter republicans honest.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 8 months ago

Moderates until they started making pacts with the devil. Even Dole was "reasonable" on the extreme, but he allowed others into the GOP tent that eventually corrupted the party. Anyone remember the likes of James Pearson or Nancy Kassebaum? It was Pearson who lead the fight to reduce the filibuster from 67 to 60 votes needed for cloture to limit the power of southern senators.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

This is ue can be boiled down to one single issue. These tea bag republicans have only one issse; They do not like and cannot stomach the fact that the black guy got elected president. They are hide bound to re-fight the election results to oblivion.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

It's not precisely true that seniors can relax and not be concerned about possible changes to Medicare.

The government is cutting "over-payments" to private firms that administer some Medicare programs - that may have an effect of some kind on seniors.

Also, given that no doctors are required to accept Medicare, providers can stop accepting Medicare patients at any time. What good is Medicare if you can't find a good doctor who takes it?

It's similar to the "if you like your insurance, you can keep it" line - that's only true in some cases, if the plan is allowed under the new ACA rules, if your employer continues to offer it, etc.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Good point, as there are doctors in Lawrence who do not take Medicare and some who will not bill any insurance company.

smileydog 4 years, 8 months ago

Sandy Praeger is a republican in name only.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 8 months ago

That's the problem, she is what most Republicans should be, and their extremists try to isolate their moderates and either bring them to the far-right or remove them from any position of influence. If the party as a whole could understand that it is possible for individuals to have different views on separate subjects they might be able to engage in intelligent discord and accomplish something positive.

ENVIROPEACE 4 years, 8 months ago

Just so I'm clear on this, Doris Hurtig's (84) son, the cardiologist, told her "that new federal rules were forcing him to follow regimented protocols instead of treating each patient individually".

He didn't have any protocols forced on him by big insurance companies? What a ridiculous statement...

My physician set me up with an appointment for a heart "stress test" that my insurance company deemed unnecessary. Who's really in charge of health care the Doctors or the greedy insurance companies?

lucky_guy 4 years, 8 months ago

Who says that the cardiologist son knows better than the protocol? At least the protocol has some kind of evidence behind it. There is nothing to back up the statement that individual care is better than protocol, until the protocol doesn't work. Most of the time the "individual" care sounds better but usually doesn't have a better outcome. Just ask Michael Jackson how his individualized care worked out.

gatekeeper 4 years, 8 months ago

My father suffered because of a cardiologist that saw a gold mine and Medicare willing to pay for anything he wanted done. He made great money off my dad and my dad suffered the last 9 months of his life instead of being allowed to pass earlier and peacefully. He also filled my mom's head full of lies about how my father (in congestive heart failure) could get better and live longer. There are plenty of great doctors and there are plenty willing to bilk the govt for all they can get. The new rules are aimed to stop this.

George Lippencott 4 years, 8 months ago

There are many positive aspects to the ACA. It protects people from insurance failure with a catastrophic illness. It address prior conditions. It increase the portability of insurance. It offers insurance to those in the hole between Medicaid and employer insurance.

Yes, it doe require the younger set to pay more as it should. Your can not cover prior conditions without requiring full participation in some sort of program.

The cost side is what frightens me. If you mandate coverage of prior conditions then we still have a potential problem where an individual starts with low level coverage and when a conditions not covered arise they then move to higher level coverage. That will run up the costs of the more comprehensive plans.

It is understandable that the implementation of such an immense program would have challenges. However, blindly mobving ahead when the challenges invite fraud, waste and abuse seems to be a poor choice. Phase it in as the capabilities mature.

There are way too many waivers. WE are not treating all Americans alike. That is despicable. WE need to regroup on this aspect and withdraw the special privileges or extend them to everyone. However, instead of a special exemption for Congress we should eliminate the UNIQUE requirement that they be under the ACA - LET THEM BE TREATED AS ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ARE.

We have also for some reason decided to subsidize families with incomes up to 1 and half times the average family income in our country. Perhaps that may be a bit too far from a "needs" standpoint. Could that move be political. The full bill has not yet surfaced as a lot of Congressional legerdemain was a foot when the bill was priced. Can we afford the full bill?

When our government starts subsidizing upper middle class families while running an annual trillion dollar deficit it just might be time to step back and regroup.

Janella Williams 4 years, 8 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.

George Lippencott 4 years, 8 months ago

I think I said that - you just expanded. Nothing you posted addresses my reservations.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 8 months ago

the doctors in my family were John Birchers and did not believe in Medicare. same thing happening today.

gatekeeper 4 years, 8 months ago

My grandfather and great grandfather were doctors and only cared about serving their patients, not how they got paid. Sometime's they didn't get paid.

George Lippencott 4 years, 8 months ago

Do the Doctors today (majority) live better in relationship to the society then the doctors of our youth? Seems to me that when we were in the fee for service era (with individual charity) the doctors lived in the bigger houses and had the newest goodies??

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

"Hurtig said her son, who is a cardiologist, told her that new federal rules were forcing him to follow regimented protocols instead of treating each patient individually."

This has been going on for a few decades. Yes the medical insurance industry has been doing this for many many years.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

How can we get Sandy Praeger to go for another few years as insurance commissioner?

She has my vote!!!

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