Archive for Saturday, May 6, 2017

All 4 Kansans in U.S. House supported Obamacare repeal

The Kansas delegation in the U.S. House is, from left, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Roger Marshall and Ron Estes.

The Kansas delegation in the U.S. House is, from left, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Roger Marshall and Ron Estes.

May 6, 2017

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— All four members of the Kansas delegation to the U.S. House voted in unison Thursday in favor of a bill to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act, following through on their campaign pledges to "repeal and replace" the law commonly known as Obamacare.

The new law, known as the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, passed on a narrow, 217-213 margin.

Among other things, the new bill would roll back the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. That expansion enabled states to extend Medicaid to millions of modest-income Americans with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The bill, which faces an uncertain future in the Senate, would not revoke coverage for people who have already been enrolled in Medicaid through the expansion, but it would cut off new enrollment through the expansion and it offers states incentives to drop expansion altogether.

Earlier this year, the Kansas House and Senate passed a bill to take advantage of the expansion opportunity, but Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed the bill and the House failed to override that veto.

The AHCA also would give states the option of receiving their federal share of Medicaid costs in the form of a block grant and adding work requirements for Medicaid eligibility.

In addition, the bill repeals the Obamacare mandate that all individuals carry health insurance or pay a tax penalty. It also repeals the subsidies currently available to people who buy individual coverage on the exchange markets and replaces those with refundable tax credits.

The bill also repeals a number of taxes on high-income taxpayers that are part of the funding mechanism for Obamacare.

According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, an estimated 14 million Americans would lose health coverage under those provisions. Federal expenditures would be cut by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, which would be offset by a reduction in federal revenues of about $883 billion.

All four members of the Kansas delegation issued statements after the vote insisting that the bill would not allow insurers to deny coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. They also asserted that the bill is more market-oriented than Obamacare, and that it would increase competition in the insurance market.

"The current healthcare system is not working — as noted by the countless Kansans who have called, emailed, written and met with me since Obamacare went online in 2013," 2nd District Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Topeka said in a statement posted on her congressional website.

Third District Rep. Kevin Yoder, of Overland Park, also said that the current law is in "a dangerous collapse."

"Rather than forcing Americans to buy plans they don't want or can't afford, regulating insurance providers out of the market altogether or leaving people with no options to choose from, the AHCA makes the necessary changes to repair our health care system that's collapsing before our eyes," Yoder said in a statement posted on his website.

First-term Rep. Roger Marshall of the 1st District in western Kansas, said that as a physician in Great Bend he had seen the effects of Obamacare firsthand.

"Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, there have been few moments that my career as a physician has not been impacted," he said in an op-ed article published in the Hutchinson News. "I've seen it drive up premiums and deductibles, decrease reimbursements to Kansas hospitals for Medicare patients, and turn nurses and doctors into data-entry professionals."

The state's newest member of Congress, 4th District Rep. Ron Estes of Wichita, posted a statement on his website calling the new bill "a historic first step toward putting people — not politics — back at the center of our health care system."

The Kansas Democratic Party, meanwhile, is already using Thursday's vote as a fundraising tool against Yoder, whose district tilted slightly in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Comments

Phillip Chappuie 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What a wonder. The same four bunch that thinks like many State House members that care zippo about the health of the decent working Kansans that cannot afford any type of coverage. This current AHCA stands to be devastating in many ways to the lower income groups of people. Premiums will rocket for those not covered by an employer. But no worries. Kansas will not care nor change. Many will continue to vote against their own interest and just mark the box with an "R" next to it. Voted for Eisenhower 'cause Lincoln won the war.

Steve Jacob 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yoder won by 10% in 2016, so he thinks is seat is secure.

David Reynolds 5 months, 2 weeks ago

For all the fear mongering...so folks still want Ocare given the companies leaving the markets & skyrocketing premiums.

If you want your plan pmease keep it. 😳

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is news?? The allt right Kansas delegation elected by the entrenched supporters of our Russian owned President of the United States voted with the Pervert in Chief?? This is not news. This is what we get. Until Kansas pulls it's head out of it's backside, we will continue to see such devotion to the illegitimate fool who is laughingly referred to as "Commander in Chief" (with NO military experience whatsoever) Good work, folks!!! Keep on keeping on!!!

John Middleton 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow... if military experience is key for a president, perhaps you can cite obama's branch of service and mos... oh yah, never mind.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Obama was too young to get drafted, dear. We have an all volunteer military now.

Brandon Devlin 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Ummm . .where did he say anywhere that he needed to be "drafted?" Because he was too young to be drafted, he couldn't have enlisted? Gone through ROTC?

It's called a "volunteer force" for a reason, Dear. And as far as I can tell, President Obama didn't.

Scott Morgan 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Fred, Please do not make this about black and white American's, it most certainly is not. Plenty of groups make up the 40.

TANSTAAFL......There aint no such thing as a free lunch Econ 101.

The only folks who like Obamacare are the dangerous 40 % of our citizens. What not to like about Obamacare, when you get it free? TANSTAAFL....somebody is paying though and it aint cheap. Heck, if you get it free do as many do, pay the extra 20 bucks a month and move up to the Gold Plan. Then Obamacare is really free of those pesky co-payments and medication costs. Sadly Obamacare costs so much, restricts so much, many of the folks paying the high premiums can't use it. Ironic isn't it.

Taxes, no problem when you are part of the 40 % who don't pay any. Free college, already is for those 40 percent. Dangerous 40 percent? When this group grows to over 50 percent, this nation will cease to exist.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What are you talking about Scott? I did not make any reference in my post to "black and white American's" (grammer error......the apostrophe indicates possession, not plurality.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Fred, I guess Scott is admitting that the alt right are racists?

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Priceless - giving a grammar lesson while spelling grammar incorrectly. You da man Fred.

"What are you talking about Scott? I did not make any reference in my post to "black and white American's" (grammer error......the apostrophe indicates possession, not plurality."

Scott Morgan 5 months ago

sorry Fred, I meant please do not take my post as being about black or whites.

Charles Jones 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott, I agree with much of what you say. But there are so many flaws in our economy that defy the logic of Econ 101. Low demand is blamed for sluggish economic growth: but wage stagnation and wealth concentration worsen. Hard to consume when income shrinks. Our healthcare system is the picture of inefficiency and corruption as we have become an oligarchic nation/economy that consistently distorts the market (check our rules around pharmaceuticals). Automation has undermined the value of labor.. So I think you have a point. But among all the things to consider, beating up on the poor is low on my hierarchy.

Clark Coan 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Jenkins is a lame duck and doesn't need voters or campaign contributions, so why did she vote for it when it would means tens of thousands of Kansans in her district would lose health insurance, have to pay higher premiums or lose benefits?

David Reynolds 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It's interesting all the complaints about eliminating Ocare and few ig any even know how the mee plans would work or coversges.

The existing Ocare plans were a joke.

It's a joke that so many are complaining just to follow the Dem talking points. Yet know know only what the biased media are saying.

The mind of the Dem hive will serve none of the Dems well.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This was all about keeping campaign promises for Trump and many Republican legislators. The Replace and Repeal mantra had become so pervasive that even the ones who didn't like the smell of this legislation felt like they had to vote for it so the others could go home and lie to their constituents that they had Repealed and Replaced--which they haven't. But by gum, they'd delivered their promise, and never mind that they replaced the high mileage Ford Maverick of a healthcare plan with a brand new Yugo.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

1.4 million health care dollars a day influencing elected officials from the health care industry.

Okay, let's start out with 1.4 million a day. That's $1,400,000 a day.

A year = approximately 365 days. $1,400,000 x 365 = $511,000,000

So that's $511 million - which means that in a year, the healthcare industry spends - on average - half a billion dollars on lobbying.

Now, let's look at the last 8 years under George W. Bush. We know a year = $511 million, so let's multiply that by 8: 511,000,000 x 8 = $4,088,000,000

And let's just double-check our numbers to be sure: 365 x 8 = 2,920 So 8 years = 2,920 days. 2,920 x $1,400,000 = $4,088,000,000.

Yep, that number is correct - meaning that in the last 8 years under Bush, the healthcare industry spent 4.088 BILLION dollars on lobbying alone. That's 88 million dollars more than Chrysler got in bailout money on Jan. 3rd.

That's approximately 20% of the 19.8 billion that was approved for Post-Hurricane Katrina recovery. Hell, that's $488 million more than was alotted for just levee repair in that recovery package.

EDIT: And as DWG reminded me in his comment, all that lobbying money? Guess where it comes from? All those uber-inflated health insurance premiums that we, the American people, are struggling to pay!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/06/26/747191/--1-4-million-per-day-on-healthcare-industry-lobbying

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Repeal the "mandate to purchase" absolutely!

There are some who would rather finance their own health care straight out of their pockets which would reduce the expense considerably for them as would Medicare Single Payer Insurance of which both options should be open to all.

I say repeal the mandate STAT.

Provide 3 choices:

=== ObamaCare which retains the health insurance industry

=== Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage

=== Self financed health care

So now conservatives get on with this without screwing up healthcare, without a bunch of BS and stop throwing republicans , the Green Party,Independents and democrats under the bus.

What about the healthcare industry blowing billions on lobbying? What about the politicians who accept this campaign money ---- what does that say about them?

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's reduce health care costs by getting rid of the medical insurance industry. Why? Because the medical insurance industry does not provide health care. And most consumers do not spend what is paid out annually per policy.

In fact most insured consumers are under insured which could mean bankruptcy.

Considering deductibles,co-pays,dental and premium costs plus employer contribution how much is your coverage?

Improved Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All would provide real medical insurance reform! But it ain't free. Paying with OUR tax dollars certainly does make Medicare Single Payer Insurance free HOWEVER it is excellent use of tax dollars.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

I want IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance and I want it paid for with MY tax dollars.

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL would cover every person for all necessary medical care 24/7 to include:

  • Wellness
  • prescription drugs • hospital • surgical, • outpatient services • primary and preventive care • emergency services, • dental • mental health • home health
    • physical therapy • rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), • vision care, • hearing services including hearing aids • chiropractic • durable medical equipment • palliative care • long term care

NO DEDUCTIBLES – NO COPAYS

http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

WHY MUST CONSUMERS PAY OUT THOUSANDS ANNUALLY BEFORE THE INSURANCE KICKS IN?

Why is the heath care industry spending billions on 8 lobbyists per elected official in addition campaign cookie jars?

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What about the healthcare industry blowing billions on lobbying? What about the politicians who accept this campaign money ---- what does that say about them?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

And all those irritating commercials for drugs are not cheap.

Lynn Grant 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, Lynn Jenkins, what about the countless Kansans who have called, emailed, written and met with you to beg you to vote NO on the AHCA? Selective hearing, some call it.

Sam Crow 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, Lynn Grant, what about the 181,000 people (61 % of the vote ) that voted for Jenkins and urged her to vote YES on the AHCA ?

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Consumers deserve a choice not a dictate from the Hill on what we must do. Yes a choice not an order from the most corrupt government on planet earth.

Provide 3 choices: ALLOW THE CONSUMERS TO MAKE THE CHOICE!

=== ObamaCare which retains the health insurance industry

=== Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage for all who wish to subscribe.

Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All Vs. Proposed Healthcare “Private insurance with Public Option” http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf ( very interesting findings)

=== Self financed health care for the financially fiscally fit if one wants to opt out.

Can conservatives get on with this without screwing up healthcare, without a bunch of BS and stop throwing fiscal conservatives, republicans,green party thinkers and democrats under the bus?

Obvously NOT!

Talk about BS.

Just imagine how many millions of healthcare dollars are being funneled to lobbyists and elected officials plus the budget for misinformation from the insurance industry and pharmaceutical industry which BTW is being billed to those paying for medical insurance.

What fraudulent use of healthcare dollars!!!

Could this fraudulent spending be connected to increased cost of medical insurance? Of course.

Bob Smith 5 months, 2 weeks ago

HR 676 has been staggering around since 2003. It hasn't a snowball's chance of becoming law despite the thousands of times you've posted about it.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Prior to ObamaCare insurance premiums were experiencing double digit increases which is status quo coming from the medical insurance industry. This is not new in spite of those portraying large increases from the medical insurance as a result of ObamaCare.

Large increases has been status quo for many many years.

Bankruptcies were largely related to medical expenses in which those filing had medical insurance. So what good is medical insurance if the insurance won't pay the bills?

David Reynolds 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Complain complain complain.

What specifics do the complainers have to offer to fix Ocare without breaking the budget further? How will the complainers make Ocare sustainable?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Easy, a 1%-$3 tax increase on incomes, all incomes, depending on how much you earn or how healthy you are, which will pay for single payer coverage. Everyone is covered.

Immediately make all the workers Medicare workers, send all the executives to the Caymans to enjoy their money, tell drug companies what they will charge (send their executives to the Caymans too). Limit the number of graduates going into the whole plastic surgery field, unless they work with burn victims and other real medical problems. Fund medical training for people who really want to help the sick, and not just get rich.

Feed universities with research money to find real cures, and not just to create drugs to "manage" an illness. Tell for-profit hospitals that not everything is about profits. Oh and the investors? Well investing is like gambling, right? You aren't guaranteed to win.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Where in the Constitution does it empower the federal government to operate a healthcare system? It doesn't and therefor the Feds must stay out of it. Now if the state's want to do like Massachusetts did then have at it.

Harlan Hobbs 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Liberals need to find a new comedy routine. They've been using the same one for over 35 years. It didn't work under Ronald Reagan, and I can assure you that it won't work under Donald Trump.

What about the millions of people who can't afford the premium and deductible increases so they go without health insurance? Their only mistake is that they made a little too much money to qualify for subsidies while the lazy and shiftless get it for nothing.

Any able bodied person needs to work if he/she wants taxpayer funded benefits. Wean them off of welfare and back into being contributors to society. They might actually find a purpose to their life.

While we are at it, we should defund universities like Cal-Berkeley until they demonstrate support for free speech.

David Reynolds 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Dorothy your solution won't work without busting the budget & your solution is definetly not sustainable.

First,the funding mechanism you recommend, 1-3% payroll tax must support 300+ million people. Currently the payroll tax is 2.9% total from employees & employer which support 55 million recipients & it is running out of money & this is with recipients paying in money for decades before being eligible to receive benefits, let alone immediately as you imply.

Additionally their is a premium of about $109 per month.

You should also know that medicare itself is good, it doesn't cover your medical expenses. Each individual has to carry Supplemental Policies thru the private market. These policies can have $100's monthly premiums.

I know all this to be fact as I have been on these pkans for 12 years.

The only real solution to the medical insurance issue is 2 fold.

1, The policies out to be nationally open markets.

2, The insured needs to be able to buy, for each individual, specialty coverage such as pregnancy, abortion, cancer, etc. In the 70's these were called salad bar policies. People bought what they needed and that was it.

Additionally Medicare is a ine size fits all policy. That is a cost detriment to younger people needing insurance.

Your recommendation for government run singke payer is a fantasy & unaffordable & most certainly unsustainable.

David Reynolds 5 months, 2 weeks ago

People need to just be able to buy what they need & only what they need, the most affordable way possible.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The money to cover single payer is in Washington D.C. as we speak. Consider that the federal government spends more than $1.7 trillion tax dollars annually on healthcare which in reality would likely cover all in the USA under a Universal Single Payer Health Care program.

If more is necessary the government could reduce the war budget by at least 50% and cut back on corporate subsidies by at least 50%. Why any wealthy corporation need tax dollar subsidies? Are these subsides in reality a back door stash for kickbacks? Aka special interest campaign contributions?

FYI: Universal Single Payer Insurance for ALL would cover every person for all necessary medical care 24/7 to include:

Wellness /prescription drugs / hospital / surgical / outpatient services / primary and preventive care / emergency services / dental / mental health / home health / physical therapy / rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) / vision care / hearing services including hearing aids / chiropractic / medical equipment / palliative care / long term care

No deductibles / No Co-pays

Health care in and of itself will remain a private industry.

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All leaves choice of doctors,clinics,hospital and services across the board to the consumer = the best coverage ever.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

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