Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brownback signs Medicare, gun bills

April 23, 2014


Kansas government
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— Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday signed into law a bill that could put Kansas officials in charge of Medicare and other federally funded health programs in the state.

He also signed a bill that strips cities and counties of the power to regulate firearms and nullifies existing local gun ordinances. House Bill 2578 will also ensure that gun owners could openly carry their firearms across the state, though local officials still could prohibit open carrying in public buildings.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, AARP and other health care groups had urged Brownback to veto the health care compact bill, saying the measure could jeopardize Medicare benefits to seniors because those federal dollars would be competing with other state budget pressures.

But in signing House Bill 2553, Brownback issued a statement saying it would protect Medicare from the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare after President Barack Obama.

"Obamacare is the most serious attack on Medicare and seniors since the program's inception. By cutting $700 million out of Medicare, President Obama and his allies made a policy statement that ideology is more important than protecting seniors," Brownback said.

Republican opponents of the ACA have repeatedly said the federal reform law took $700 million from Medicare., a project of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper that fact checks statements made by politicians, said neither Obama nor the ACA cut a dollar amount from Medicare, but sought to bring down future health care costs in the program.

Under the new law, the state will be allowed to join an interstate compact in which the states would continue to receive federal health care dollars, and each state could administer the programs.

The measure could only be implemented if approved by Congress. As a compact, it doesn't need the president's approval to become law. Both sides have acknowledged that if Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate after the November elections, the health care compact could become a reality.

The bill was backed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the Kansas Chamber, Republican elected officials who have been critical of the ACA, and a Texas-based group called Competitive Governance Action that says on its website that it is engaged in the devolution of government power.

Brownback said he would oppose any effort at the state level to reduce Medicare benefits or coverage to Kansas senior citizens.

Concerning the gun bill, the city of Lawrence has no ordinance prohibiting the open carry of a firearm. But local officials opposed the measure because they said communities best know what ordinances would work best locally.


Phillip Chappuie 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course Mr. Brownback's comments are based on a false premise. To simple say that the ACA will 'cut' $700 million from Medicare is a bold face lie. The idea is that efficiency over time will net a reduction in the growth of Medicare cost over time. It also projects to change Medicare Advantage plans to more of a managed care model instead of the fee for service model that should net savings. No where does it reduce or eliminate care for anyone that I am aware of. The care of seniors is not changed. This is must more of the tea party Obama hater liars club spitting bull.

James Nelson 3 years, 11 months ago

Great explanation, Phillip. It looks like Kansans are the victim of still more republican lies. I don't think Brownback, Kobach and legislative leaders will ever stop lying to the people of Kansas. The real threat is that not enough voters will recognize the lies and hold them accountable. People like you need to continue speaking out about the truth so that more can learn and more properly become distrustful of practically everything coming out of the mouths of the state's currently elected leaders.

Larry Sturm 3 years, 11 months ago

I do not want the state of Kansas to control my medicare Ido not pay my medicare to the state of Kansas I pay my medicare to SS and that is the way it should be. BROWNBACK IS THE BIGGEST ABOMINATION TO THE STATE OF KANSAS WE HAVE EVER HAD HE IS BAD FOR KANSAS.

Randall Uhrich 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Larry Surm. Decipher Republican reasoning: The Affordable Care Act has good things in it, but "Obamacare is bad and should be repealed and not be obeyed. Go figure.

Steve Bunch 3 years, 11 months ago

Actually, it's easy to figure. Anything supported by the president with dark pigmentation and a foreign sounding name is a threat to our republic.

Larry Sturm 3 years, 11 months ago

More of the Koch brothers taking over Kansas. BROWNBACK BAD FOR KANSAS.

James Nelson 3 years, 11 months ago

EVERY move or word Brownback has made or uttered about healthcare for Kansans has been bad for the people of Kansas. Every word said has been replete with deception and outright lies. The man simply must be removed from office. To see this man continually refer to his Christian status makes me want to throw up. What God does he pray to, anyway? This man is just evil and must go.

It is sickening how everything he has done in office has been designed to cram still more dollars into the already stuffed pockets of the rich. He has done his utmost to create class warfare in Kansas and the ever widening disparities he has helped create between the rich and poor is totally heartless.

More evidence of republican lies - Now we hear of attempts to give state employees their first raise in years, a measly 1.5%. Only trouble is republicans want to tie in the removal of the longstanding longevity bonuses, worth $400.00 to employees with 10 years service. That's more than the raise would produce for most. Bottom line is a pay cut for most. Kansans literally cannot afford more republican lies. They must pack up and leave Topeka.

Bob Reinsch 3 years, 11 months ago

Let me see if I have this straight. We can't trust the Federal government, so Sam is going to control Medicare. We can't trust our locally voted-upon officials, so Sam is going to control all gun laws for the state of Kansas, too. Education, Health Care, Judicial Appointments, Guns... looks like he's consolidating power.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

""Obamacare is the most serious attack on Medicare and seniors since the program's inception. By cutting $700 million out of Medicare, President Obama and his allies made a policy statement that ideology is more important than protecting seniors," Brownback said."

Absolutely NOT True ……

Sam Brownback has no idea what he is talking about…..making up crap as he goes along.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Sam does not have the phony story correct…

Fact Check: The $700b Medicare cut BY GLENN KESSLER October 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Romney accused Obama of taking $716 billion from Medicare. This $700 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years (2013-2022) between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as “the baseline”) and the changes that the law makes to reduce spending.

The savings mostly are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries — who, as a result of the health-care law, ended up with new benefits for preventive care and prescription drugs.

While it is correct that anticipated savings from Medicare were used to help offset some of the anticipated costs of expanding health care for all Americans, it does not affect the Medicare trust fund. In fact, the Obama health-care law also raised Medicare payroll taxes by $318 billion over the new 10-year time frame, further strengthening the program’s financial condition.

Under the concept of the unified budget, money that is collected by the federal government for whatever purpose (such as Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes) is spent on whatever bills are coming due at that time. Social Security and Medicare will get a credit for taxes collected that are not immediately spent on Social Security, but those taxes are quickly devoted to other federal spending.

Under the health-care law, spending does not decrease in Medicare year after year; the reduction is from anticipated levels of spending in future years. Moreover, the “cuts” did not come at the expense of seniors.

The House Republican budget plan crafted by Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, retains virtually all of the Medicare “cuts” contained in the health-care law, but diverts them instead to his Medicare overhaul. Republicans argue that that is a more effective use of the savings.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

What? WHAT? I'm on Medicare and I haven't seen anything but GOOD things come from the ACA, especially in terms of the shrinking donut hole. I'm on a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurance company with managed care and my co-pays are minimal (in fact, as of January 1, I have NO co-pay for my PCP) and I pay less than 20 dollars a month for my medications (my insulin, alone, would be over 700/month without insurance) and this joker wants to take control of it so he can siphon off my healthcare dollars?
What's next? Is he going to start taxing my Social Security payments?
This man is the absolute WORST thing that has ever happened to the state of Kansas and if you people don't wake up and boot his tushie to the curb, there will be no one left in the state except Kochs and people too poor to get out.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Sam Brownback and associates CANNOT be trusted with Medicare dollars. Beware….

An ongoing 24/7 audit might not be a bad idea.

Mary Darst 3 years, 11 months ago

I am almost sick over this. If I was in a position to move out of this state, I would. Our state leaders are just crazy. What is really scary is the number of states that are run the same way. The icing on the cake keeps getting thicker.

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