Archive for Monday, April 3, 2017

Kansas lawmakers fail to override Brownback’s veto of Medicaid expansion

House Republicans watch the voting board on the Kansas House floor during an open vote on overriding Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a Medicaid expansion bill, Monday, April 3, 2017 at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The measure failed by three votes.

House Republicans watch the voting board on the Kansas House floor during an open vote on overriding Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a Medicaid expansion bill, Monday, April 3, 2017 at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The measure failed by three votes.

April 3, 2017, 12:06 p.m. Updated April 3, 2017, 3:05 p.m.

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— The Kansas House on Monday sustained Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a bill that would have extended Medicaid coverage to an additional 150,000 people.

A motion to override his veto fell three votes short, 81-44. That was the same margin by which the bill initially passed the House in February.

Two people who had previously opposed the bill switched their votes to yes: Republican Reps. Fred Patton, of Topeka, and Troy Waymaster, of Bunker Hill.

At the same time, though, two previous supporter of the bill, Republican Reps. Tory Marie Arnberger, of Great Bend, and Clay Aurand, of Belleville, switched their votes to no.

Patton was one of the moderate Republicans that supporters of the bill had been hoping would change his vote. Patton’s district is just north of two regional hospitals that are major employers in the area.

“I have serious concerns with provisions in this plan,” Patton said in a written explanation of his vote. “However, with one local hospital (St. Francis Hospital) for sale and both absorbing increasing financial pressures, I am also concerned with ensuring health care access for our families.”

Aurand said he voted in favor of the bill initially, even though he had concerns about it, because he assumed the Senate would change the bill and the concerns he had could be worked out in a conference committee. But the Senate did not change the bill, and when it passed the upper chamber last week, it went directly to Brownback.

“What I would love to do is put a solution in place that addresses a lot of concerns that some folks have in a fiscal neutral way, so I beseech leadership to commit to trying to put a group together, because I could go either way on this, quite frankly,” Aurand said. “I want to do whatever is most likely to get to something that is more amenable to a more broad range of folks in here.”

The bill would have taken advantage of the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and would have expanded eligibility for Medicaid in Kansas to anyone in a household making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $27,800 a year for a family of three.

Brownback is a critic of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

He argued in his veto message that expanding Medicaid would burden the state with what he called “unrestrainable” costs. Supporters said it would be a net plus for the state.

Brownback also argued that the bill “funnels more taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” a charge that Rep. Sidney Carlin, D-Manhattan, strongly refuted.

“I was very concerned that some of us would back away from support and hide behind the governor’s comments regarding abortion and be afraid to support the override,” Carlin said. “So I contacted my bishop, that’s the bishop in Salina, and I received an email back from him this morning and I just wanted to share that with you, and I quote: ‘All four bishops of Kansas support the expansion.’”

Monday’s vote in the House very likely ends the debate over Medicaid expansion in Kansas for this year. Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn the regular session on Friday, then leave for a three-week break. They will return May 1 for a wrapup session that will focus mainly on passage of a final budget, a school finance plan and a tax package.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

We need a list of those who voted to not override, so we know who to work against in 2018.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 weeks, 6 days ago

The fascists are loose among us. Be very, very aware.

Ken Lassman 2 weeks, 6 days ago

From the legislature pages: go to the web page if you want to know who those folks are and where they come from: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/measures/vote_view/je_20170403115129_310009/

Yea - (81): Alcala, Alford, Baker, Ballard, Becker, Bishop, Brim, Burroughs, Campbell, Carlin, Carmichael, Clark, Clayton, Concannon, Cox, Crum, Curtis, Deere, Dierks, Dietrich, Elliott, Eplee, Finney, Frownfelter, Gallagher, Gartner, Good, Helgerson, Henderson, Hibbard, Highberger, Hineman, Hodge, Holscher, Jennings, Johnson, Judd-Jenkins, Karleskint, Kelly, Kessinger, Koesten, Kuether, Lewis, Lusk, Lusker, Markley, Mastroni, Miller, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Orr, Ousley, Parker, Patton, Phelps, Phillips, Pittman, Proehl, Ralph, Rooker, Ruiz, Sawyer, Schreiber, Schroeder, Sloan, A. Smith, Stogsdill, Swanson, Terrell, Thompson, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Waymaster, Weigel, Wheeler, Whipple, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe Moore,

Nay - (44): Arnberger, Aurand, Awerkamp, Barker, Blex, Carpenter, Claeys, Corbet, Davis, DeGraaf, Delperdang, Dove, Ellis, Esau, Finch, Francis, Garber, Hawkins, Highland, Hoffman, Houser, Huebert, Humphries, Jacobs, Jones, Lakin, Landwehr, Mason, Osterman, Powell, Rafie, Rahjes, Resman, Ryckman, Schwab, Seiwert, E. Smith, Sutton, Tarwater, Thimesch, Vickrey, Weber, Whitmer, Williams,

Tom Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I would love to know how many of these NAY votes are people who go to church every Sunday so that they appear to be Christians! As Trump would say - Sad, very sad.

Michael Kort 2 weeks, 6 days ago

"Unrestrainable Costs" really = " then let the poor die.......and decrease the surplus population ".

The children of the poor fight daily........in the US Military........to defend the lives of jerks like these Ks politicians who vote against the poor on a regular basis, as a badge of their own honor to the rich to whom they prostitute themselves ..

Maybe the children of the poor need to wise up and let other economic groups do their own killing and dying in the military because the poor get little for their troubles at being patriotic except being spit on by those who govern this country " from the top to the bottom levels of our elected creep government .

RJ Johnson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I think you guys forget you live in a Republican state!

Tom Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Republican is one word to describe these so-called Christian hypocrites.

Michael Kort 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Pseudo Christian Believer Hypocrites ( the word hypocrite means "actor" ) and the Ks. State Republican Party is the party of the true " MAKE-BELIEVERS "

Lynn Grant 2 weeks, 5 days ago

RJ we keep hoping that sooner or later certain areas will wise up and elect people who represent the people.

RJ Johnson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

How? By taking ones money and spending it against their will?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Right, how dare they take taxes and help out people who are poor. The gaul. I had a friend once who did all kinds of things to help people when they were down and out. He always said he wasn't really being generous. He was knew that someday he might be in the same boat. Well, he was, and everyone rallied to help him. Since RJ and the Bobs love to hate people, I think they are tempting fate. If they hit a catastrophic event in their lives, like cancer, I'm real sure they will not just go away and die quietly. I'm sure they will looking for whatever assistance they can get. They are sad, unhappy people, and I almost pity them, except they would probably say they are good Christians, condemn me for being a bleeding heart, and claim to be "pro-life". I really hate hypocrisy.

Pete Kennamore 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Surely you're not saying we have the resources to save the poor from their lot?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The Republicans of even 20 years ago, wouldn't claim these Republicans. And you realize that Republicans are voting against this radical, hate filled governor. Republicans used to care about people too. Now it's just greed, greed, greed. Don't ask them to trickle down their wealth, don't ask them to pay taxes, kick the poor to the curb. The only reason they are against abortion, is they need to replace the peons that they are going to kill from lack of health care and polluting the environment. They certainly are too good to do any work themselves. They only consider workers to be a necessary evil to do the physical work they are too lazy to do. They would love to go back to slavery, and basically, those who are getting paid a living wage are slaves.

Bob Summers 2 weeks, 5 days ago

What are the people that can't take care of themselves going to do without other people paying their way?

Maybe they can barter for services.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Bob, you think it's okay for employers not to pay a living wage and not to provide insurance, right? But then you can't understand why people are poor and need to use the government for health service? Really? There are people out there working more than one job to just have a place to live and food to eat.

Companies are making record profits, but worker's pay and benefits are going nowhere. Yet, they don't want to pay taxes to feed their workers and keep them healthy. And I figured out that's why you conservatives hate abortion so much. If you get rid of pollution controls, worker safety rules, and don't provide nutrition and health care for those peons who do all the work for you, then you will need to have more replacements for when they die.

It's all about the greed for you guys, isn't it?

Phillip Chappuie 2 weeks, 5 days ago

No Bob Summers. They won't be bartering for services. They have nothing. They will just be allowed to die or show up at the ER to extend their pain. Your comment is nothing but sick and hateful with no courtesy for humanity. Your attitude is that of a worthless slug.

Bob Summers 2 weeks, 5 days ago

"They won't be bartering for services".

Exactly. That is the mindset of many humans that were trained in their youth by people in government. What do they have to show for that training? They need other peoples money to live.

I would barter for services.

Your attitude is that of a worthless slug.

You know the attitude of a slug? That figures.

Cille King 2 weeks, 5 days ago

95% of all profits are going to the 1% top earners - for decades. For any one not in the top 1%, could funnel their anger at those who expand their fortunes at the expense of paying employees enough to have health care, food and housing, for not paying taxes to maintain roads, schools, our judicial system, state hospitals, and public safety. Those corporations gain the most from public infrastructure, and educated, and healthy citizens.

"U.S. income inequality has been increasing steadily since the 1970s, and now has reached levels not seen since 1928." http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/05/u-s-income-inequality-on-rise-for-decades-is-now-highest-since-1928/

"Seven of the 13 companies listed reported total annual compensations of their CEOs at well over $10 million. And the compensations of all but two CEOs increased — even as their employee wages did not, and in some instances as their companies reported losses and shrank operations." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-10-companies-that-pay-americans-the-least_us_55e9aa0de4b093be51bb378c

"...three-quarters of all state economic development subsidies went to just 965 corporations since the beginning of the study in 1976. The Fortune 500 corporations alone accounted for more than 16,000 subsidy awards, worth $63 billion – mostly in the form of tax breaks." https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2014/03/14/where-is-the-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#2d2b566a27dd

Will White 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I guess the question that needs to be answered is is the expansion of Medicaid the best solution? I have some experience with Medicaid, and that system is really busted. Here are some examples of my experience attempting to get benefits for a family member. Tried to maneuver the web site. The same info is entered several times, and is inconsistent. For example, on one page you enter SSN with dashes, next page won't take it that way, wants no dashes. Same with dates, formats are not consistent. Statute requires applications be processed within 45 days. Started calling at 50 days, every time told they had "everything they needed" (on the rare chance you get to speak to a live person). After 120 days filed for administrative hearing. More stalling. Cut to the chase, it took nearly 6 months, with NO ABILITY to have coverage made retroactive. * They calculated the "client responsibility" to be more than total monthly income. Can't get that changed. During this time, the facility was threatening eviction. Some way to treat a 90 year old Alzheimer's patient. Bottom line is I predict a very small % of those who would qualify for benefits under expansion would have the ability and patience to maneuver the system. The system needs to be fixed first.

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Kan Care is a project coming from special interest profiteers not anything that was necessary.

Kan Care design came out of secret back door sessions sponsored by American Legislative Exchange Council. This is the same group that wants to kill Social Security Insurance,Medicare,Public Education,Voting Rights etc etc etc. Why?

It's easy to see the various services listed above could funnel some large GUARANTEED profits backed with tax dollars into private bank accounts.

Kan Care was never necessary it's all about insurance tax dollars moving into special interest bank accounts. Kan Care is more expensive than Medicaid and prevents OUR federal medicaid tax dollars from benefiting Kansas.

Why would any voter vote republican in the state of Kansas ever again?

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 4 days ago

What should we do? Support REVISED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All which would eliminate medicare as we know today and would eliminate the need the need for Medicaid,KanCare,Veterans care etc etc. Because REVISED/IMPROVED medicare for all will cover all of these. It is the most sensible approach across the board.

This will cost taxpayers far far less money which provides more expendable income to all households.

Don't get caught up will all of the MISINFORMATION profiteers will put out to the public which are essentially lies. PROFITEERS spend big bucks on lies which tells us they are taking in big big big big big profits to throw at 8 lobbyists per elected official plus misinformation hand outs plus special interest political contributions which in essence are kickbacks.

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 4 days ago

How many republicans,democrats and moderates are Libertarian conservatives willing to throw under the bus? Obviously plenty of each.

Here are 10 great reasons to support IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance:

  1. Everybody In, Nobody Out. Universal means access to health care for everyone, period. Plus it is estimated to create 2.6 million new jobs!

  2. Portability. If you are unemployed, or lose or change jobs, your health coverage stays with you.

  3. Uniform Benefits. No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Pinto plans for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited services, caps on payments for care, and no protection in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive care for everyone, regardless of the size of your wallet.

  4. Prevention. By removing financial roadblocks, a universal health system encourages preventive care that lowers an individual's ultimate cost and pain and suffering when problems are neglected and societal cost in the over-utilization of emergency rooms or the spread of communicable diseases.

  5. Choice. Most private insurance restricts your choice of providers and hospitals. Under the U.S. National Health Insurance Act, patients have a choice, and the provider is assured a fair payment.

  6. No Interference with Care. Caregivers and patients regain their autonomy to decide what's best for a patient's health, not what's dictated by the billing department. No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions or cancellation of policies for "unreported" minor health problems.

  7. Reducing Waste. One third of every private health insurance dollar goes for paperwork and profits, compared to about 3% under Medicare, the federal government’s universal system for senior citizen healthcare.

  8. Cost Savings. A guaranteed health care system can produce the cost savings needed to cover everyone, largely by using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan, shifting from a U.S. private health care model, adopted a similar system in 1995, boosting health coverage from 57% to 97% with little increase in overall health care spending.

  9. Common Sense Budgeting. The public system sets fair reimbursements applied equally to all providers, private and public, while assuring that appropriate health care is delivered, and uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment.

  10. Public Oversight. The public sets the policies and administers the system, not high priced CEOs meeting in private and making decisions based on their company’s stock performance needs.

Bob Summers 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Liberals and their fantasies.

You should write for Hollywood Mr. Heckler.

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 4 days ago

so says a promoter of inflation aka reckless spender and a lover of high dollar medical insurance.....

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 4 days ago

However my position is such that would allow the name "Bob Summers" to have his cake and eat it too. Yet open a door for two other segments of this society.

I say repeal the ObamaCare mandate STAT.

Then provide 3 choices: Put this to a vote thus allowing patriotic citizens to decide!

=== Retain ObamaCare insurance for those who are pleased with it or apprehensive to change or apprehensive about the word Medicare.

=== Provide the opportunity of Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage to many millions upon millions more. YES open this door.

HR676/S703 Healthcare Reform Report Card https://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

The Sanders program would reduce national health care spending by increasing the efficiency of billing, reducing insurance-related costs, and negotiating lower drug prices.

=== LAST BUT NOT LEAST bring on self financed health care which allows the fiscally fit to opt out. YES open this door.

Richard Heckler 2 weeks, 3 days ago

One of the people I blame for the failure to override the veto is Sen Susan Wagle. She sat there during the campaigns and said that she will see to it that the taxes are rolled back, because that is what Kansans want.

However, when it came time to vote for the bill, she voted no. Then, when the veto came about, she voted against the override.

So in other words, she lied to the public, and to her voters about all of this!

Deja Vu .....

Richard Heckler 1 week, 6 days ago

Bump in favor of 3 choices of coverage for USA consumers!!!!!

Elected officials are so busy seeking special interest dollars they have no idea what is going on in America.

What should we do? Support REVISED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All which would eliminate medicare as we know today and would eliminate the need the need for Medicaid,KanCare,Veterans care etc etc. Because REVISED/IMPROVED medicare for all will cover all of these. It is the most sensible approach across the board.

This will cost taxpayers far far less money which provides more expendable income to all households.

Don't get caught up will all of the MISINFORMATION profiteers will put out to the public which are essentially lies. PROFITEERS spend big bucks on lies which tells us they are taking in big big big big big profits to throw at 8 lobbyists per elected official plus misinformation hand outs plus special interest political contributions which in essence are kickbacks.

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