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What is more unpopular: Congress or Obamacare?


Right out of the chute, it appears the 2014 campaign for U.S. House District 2 will be a contest to determine which is more unpopular: Congress or Obamacare.

Earlier this week, Democrat Margie Wakefield, of Lawrence, announced she is contemplating a run against three-term incumbent Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka.

In her release, Wakefield said, “People perceive that the system is broken. I find it unconscionable that Congress continues to ignore the serious and complex issues facing our nation."

In response to Wakefield's announcement, Bill Roe, a spokesman for Jenkins, put out a release saying that Wakefield "hearts Obamacare," which is the federal health care overhaul called Affordable Care Act.

When asked what he meant, Roe said he was referring to a "like" on Wakefield's Facebook page of an internet link to get a free "I (heart symbol) Obamacare" sticker.

Roe added, "Congresswoman Jenkins' opposition to that legislation is consistent with public opinion of 2nd District residents and that has been reflected at the ballot box."

Wakefield responded, saying, "The health care law is not perfect, but when I’m elected to Congress I will work to fix it. Lynn Jenkins has no interest in fixing it, just scoring political points.”


oldexbeat 4 years, 11 months ago

any way that Jenkins and the Tea Party GOP Koch Brothers Ltd. LLC can hurt President Obama -- except calling him out on the 4th Amendment issues of NSA, oddly -- but that takes thinking and reading -- they will do. They have no plan for any health improvement for the US, none at all, and had none when the President got ACA in place. They do not care about people except themselves and they have insurance. We pay. Jerks.

Yup, sick children don't count after birth, nor old people until they might die.

nocrybabies 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually, it's been my observation that children with congenital issues and are on Medicaid get better care than those with parents that pay for real insurance. As far as adults go, nobody cares. Once you aren't contributing to the black hole they want you off the books. And, BTW, I would no longer describe myself as Republican or Democrat. Both are corrupt beyond repair.

Kyle Seiwert 4 years, 11 months ago

Then your observation is false. Stating that a doctor treats a child patient differently based on who is paying the bill is false.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

That would be true for an individual doctor, but I think the point is that the insurance companies, except for the best ones, have a list of approved medical practitioners. So, the claim is actually that they are going to different doctors.

Wayne James 4 years, 11 months ago

You're right: OLD (Elderly) people don't count for anything. OK, so we get Medicare Coverage; That's great. But Medicare pays only 80% for hospital/Dr. visits. Thank God I was able to obtain a good Supplement plan when I became eligible for Medicare. Three years ago I went to my then Phys. and complained of a weird heartbeat. They ran an EKG test and then immediately sent me to a Cardiologist. After several tests, he came back and told me I had two options when going to the hosp: I could go by private car, or by ambulance. I thought why, I felt fine. The next morning I underwent open heard surgery to by-pass not one, not two major arteries, but three! The surgeon afterward told my better half that I was lucky to be alive as those arteries were nearly totally blocked. My out of pocket expense? $0.
Shortly after that I lost my supplement coverage and it will cost me nearly double what I had been paying for this type of ins. Why? Now I don't have this insurance, I pray everyday that nothing goes wrong. Shoot, if I go to see my current phys., it will cost me through the ying-yang since I don't have supplemental ins.

Richard Payton 4 years, 11 months ago

Presently, 13 states will not offer the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The states are Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kansas. A few of these states might change at the last minute.

hillsandtrees 4 years, 11 months ago

All states are governed by the ACA. I believe what you are referring to is that these states have declined, so far, in agreeing to participate in the extended Medicaid program where those people who don't make 100% (or is it more?) of poverty level, will be covered 100% by the Federal Government for 2014, 2015, 2015. Thus, these states will still have thousands who aren't insured - Kansas among them.

Hospitals lose payments in states that aren't expanding Medicaid, and some rural hospitals may have to close. These states will likely be paying more taxes to the Feds than they are getting in return by not participating in the expanded program.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot - that's Gov Brownback and our current legislature.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"will be covered 100% by the Federal Government for 2014, 2015, 2015"

What happens in 2017 and why did you leave that out?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I believe it was to be covered 90% by the feds after that.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

So in 2017 the state has to start spending more money for "extended" medicaid? That's probably why whichever states declined to join in. Don't you think?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago


I think that they didn't trust the feds to actually cover the 90%, and thought they'd have to pay more than that, and/or that they were ideologically opposed to extending Medicaid to more people.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"I think that they didn't trust the feds to actually cover the 90%, "

Makes sense.

" ideologically opposed to extending Medicaid"

That goes back to cost.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Not only cost, I think.

There is a "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" philosophy as well.

Wayne James 4 years, 11 months ago

I certainly hope so! I live over here in the show-me-state. I am hoping that someone starts to think of their constituents rather than their own political gain. Nice idea, but I doubt it will ever happen. No one seems to want to kick these guys out on their duff's but keep on re-electing them.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 11 months ago

I like it!

Instead of doing like Jenkins by saying "no, no, no...." and sticking her head into the sand, Wakefield wants to find solutions.

Ms. Negative (Jenkins) versus Ms. Problem Solver (Wakefield).

That's the type of new Congresswoman this district deserves!

Let's get the bumper stickers coming now

gatekeeper 4 years, 11 months ago

Watch the video in the attached to see how much Lynn really cares about the hard working Kansans that can't afford insurance. By the end, most of the conservative crowd is starting to turn on her. Love how she giggles through her answer to this hard-working mom.


jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

That's an odd video.

It's not at all clear what the questioner wants. First, she says she wants the government to ensure that all citizens have health care, and then she says she wants something she can pay for herself.

How exactly do those two things go together? Most folks who want to ensure all have health care want the government to be involved, and subsidize it in some way.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

And how is giving tax credits not subsidizing? Either way the insurance companies are getting government money. And with tax credits the insurance companies have more control to cancel your insurance if you get to expensive, or not cover pre-existing conditions. It could also say, sorry you kid is 18, he can't be on your insurance anymore. The free market has not been working for health care, period. Insurance companies are not set up to provide health care, they are set up to make a profit. They could care less about their customers.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago


But, when told that she'd get tax credits, she didn't like it, and said she wanted to pay for it herself.

I agree in general with your comments about for profit insurance companies.

Kyle Seiwert 4 years, 11 months ago

This notion that Obamacare is unpopular is hilarious. Like it has been stated, people overwhelmingly support the individual parts of the ACA, but the corporate media and teabaggers have made the name Obamacare so scary! It's the exact same as saying you love pepperoni, cheese, and thick marinara sauce slathered on baked bread, but you hate pizza.

Maddy Griffin 4 years, 11 months ago

Congress! Obamacare is doing exactly what it was built for. Congress, not so much.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

Congress. Easily. Obamacare is quite popular.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

If you ask about the items in the law individually, they're actually quite popular. It's the word "Obamacare" that scares people. Even so, a 49% approval rating is actually quite popular compared to Congress.

kochmoney 4 years, 11 months ago

I can't find a specific poll on Jenkins, but I can find a poll from PPP saying that the highest approval rating a Kansas senator has is 38%. Note that it's still less popular than the word "Obamacare."

I think you're mistaking "love" for "have more people vote for them on election day than the other person."

purplesage 4 years, 11 months ago

Obama camre is quite popular??? What polls have you been reading? Doctors don't treat differently based on who is paying? Lots won't even see, much less treat, without gaurantee of payment. That's why people go to the ER, run up astronomical bills, and go home with instructions to see their doctor tomorrow. But they still can't pay so they still go untreated.

Rep. Jenkins has voiced understanding of the problem: health care is too expensive. Costs must be realistic for any reform to work. The Unaffordable Care Act is not the solution to the needed reform.

And, as t the question: Congress, which voted for ObamaCare, is just as unpopular as their legislation.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

"A significant portion of this opposition comes from those who say the law did not go far enough in changing the U.S. health-care system."

Exactly. There are those of us who are not happy about the ACA, because it didn't go far enough. Health care should not be a for profit business. It should pay doctors and nurses a good living professional wage. It should be a single payer system. Too many hospitals are beholding to their investors. Insurance are only beholding to their investors. Why should insurance companies make profits? Why should their CEO's get big money. They should be paid well, but why make them millionaires? "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Promoting the general welfare of people means health care too. Defending citizens means protecting them from greedy corporations, as well as foreign enemies. It's the enemies from within that are the worse.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

One of the arguments at the time that Obamacare was passed was that the rising costs of healthcare was one of the primary impediments to a thriving economy. Passing Obamacare was said to be just as important as saving the banking system.

I don't think anyone wants to make that claim now.

Many businesses are struggling to deal with all of the new regulations and penalties. I think it is hard for many business owners not to feel like victims.

Most of the people that are arguing the loudest in favor of Obamacare are not business owners and do not seem to have much empathy toward business owners.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

I work with hundreds of business owners throughout Kansas and Missouri and I have to say that your comment that my comment is totally erroneous is totally erroneous (pardon the attempt at humor).

There are a great many business owners that are very upset with Obamacare and there is a lot of apprehension about it. Denying that fact does not fix the problem.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Probably because they are reading too many of the lies. Besides a single payer program would fix everything. It would just add a deduction to the other deductions that they already make, and they wouldn't have to worry about finding insurance companies to cover their employees or the premiums going up every year. But no. Conservatives wanted a free market option which is exactly what they got. Which is copied from about the only plan Republicans have ever come up with. So insurance companies still get to exist to make a profit, but now the whole nation will be able to have more choice of insurance companies and they will have to compete. I still like the single payer plan better.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

I am in favor of health care reform and doing something to deal with the fact that 80 million Americans are either uninsured or under insured.

The problem I see is that Obama has not provided enough leadership for this program to be successful and Republicans have been working as saboteurs from the beginning of his Presidency. In spite of this, it is no excuse of a lack of focus and leadership by this administration.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree. The administration hasn't done enough to promote this, but Jenkins is a puppet.

jesse499 4 years, 11 months ago

How can you lead on something most in Washington haven't even read?

jesse499 4 years, 11 months ago

How can you lead on something when you are no one else in DC has even read?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

One thing that would help a great deal would be for tuition for medical doctors and possibly nurses also to be free, that is, paid for by the government as it is in some other countries. Then, many more people would enter those fields, which would reduce health care costs, the burdensome hours that most physicians face every day could possibly be eliminated, and they would enter the workforce without a burdensome debt. A large part of a doctor's bill is going towards his or her student loans.

"According to the AMA, the average debt facing graduating medical students in 2009 was $156,000."
Clipped from:

The figure of $156,000 was for a general practitioner, and that statistic states only the average debt, it is certainly the case that the families of many of the students made a contribution that is not reflected in that amount. And, those going into specialized fields such as surgery or psychiatry will have much higher student loans to repay. But even a general practitioner can have a horrific sized loan. The following is an example, the writer is not a person that is entering a specialized field. Of course, the cost will vary a great deal, depending upon the schools chosen.

The following is clipped from:

Annual cost of tuition: $48,000
Annual cost of attendance: $67,500 (Includes costs of books/supplies, loan fees, health insurance, licensure fees, living expenses, and transportation allowance)

Total balance after medical school: $270,000
Amount subsidized: $34,000
Amount unsubsidized: $236,000

Interest incurred during 3 years of residency: $100,000
Total balance after residency: $370,000

Monthly payment after residency: $3,370 (180 total payments)
Interest incurred after residency: $237,000
Total repayment: $607,000
-end clip-

But, with the very recent interest rate hike on some student loans, the amount of $607,000 will very likely be much higher.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Jenkins is a YES person for the right wing. If she were not Koch money would have sent her home not back to congress. She loves ALEC.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

Obamacare has provided wayyyyyyyyy more protections to the clients. Which of course opened those $$$$$$ sign doors to the medical insurance industry.

The industry offers up some very sweet multi million $$$$ golden parachutes and special interest campaign $$$$$. Not only that this industry now covers expenses for 8 lobbyists per elected official. Of course none of the aforementioned has anything to do with healthcare. How can the extraordinarily high CEO salaries be forgotten. In essence a lot healthcare $$$$$ going down the drain.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

High dollar medical insurance was not popular before Obama , is not popular now and never will be popular. Without Medicare Single Payer Insurance as a choice the high dollar medical insurance industry is not going anywhere. Right wingers cannot change anything.

Let's Compare: 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)

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources Physicians for a National Health Program

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 10 months ago

What the right wing represents is a modern day form of anarchy. Their rhetoric about limited government is designed to manipulate and deceive naivete Americans by using historical sentiments of most Americans regarding governments role and freedom. The right wing propagandists have developed clever tactics and they work in the same manner as a cult deceives their followers.

These people are actually against everything. They want to abolish the FBI, the CIA, the EPA, The Department of Education, OSHA, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Public School system, etc. This list is very long.

The key to their success lies in deception and they have developed tactics which are extremely powerful which work very well. The brightest and most educated people are also fooled by these deceptive practices. They are also very confident that they will be successful in achieving their goals, the first of which appears to be the current polarization and ineffectiveness of our government and deceiving people into believing that government is a threat instead of understanding that these people are the real threat.

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