Posts tagged with Affordable Care Act
Brownback remains undecided on Medicaid expansion; supports adult stem cell center; declines to state position on drug testing welfare recipients and relaxing renewable energy standards
Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday said he hasn't made up his mind on whether Kansas should opt in to a federally funded expansion of Medicaid, but he expressed concerns about the future flow of dollars to the state from Washington, D.C.
In a brief question and answer period with reporters as the 2013 legislative session neared the midway point, Brownback said he was still analyzing data on Medicaid expansion but added that he is worried about future costs.
"We have a lot of pressures on the state budget that are significant," he said. He mentioned a court order to increase school funding, an at-capacity prison system and what he described as high demand for spending on public universities.
In addition, Brownback predicted that federal funding to the state in general would decrease over the next decade because of federal budget difficulties.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the feds would pay 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs for three years and then ratchet that down to 90 percent over the next several years.
On other issues, Brownback declined to state his position on bills that would relax renewable energy standards and require drug testing of some welfare beneficiaries.
"We'll see what gets to me," he said of a measure approved by a House committee to rollback the requirements for renewable energy.
On a bill approved by a Senate committee that would require drug tests for recipients of certain benefits, Brownback said, "Let's see what the Legislature puts forward on something like that."
Asked to comment on a Senate committee rejection of his reading initiative, he said he understood it was an emotional subject and that the discussion will continue. The Senate Education Committee defeated Brownback's proposal that would have required schools to hold back students in the third grade if they scored in the bottom performance level on the state's reading test.
On another issue, Brownback expressed support for establishing an adult stem cell center at Kansas University Medical Center.
"Having an adult stem cell center is not only highly plausible, it's being done and used in many places around the world," he said. "If Kansas could take a leadership position in that, it could be a highly useful thing for people to get treatments. There are number of different maladies now being treated by noncontroversial stem cell treatments," he said.
He added, "Let's see what develops in the process and in the bill." The bill would prohibit the center from using embryonic stem cells or cells taken from aborted fetal tissue.
Obamacare health insurance exchanges have been approved in four GOP-led states.
In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback rejected partnering with the federal government to set up the web-based insurance marketplaces, saying the Affordable Care Act was an overreach by the federal government.
But in Idaho, a spokesman for Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said, "We're on track for Idaho having a say over how this process works, instead of having the federal government dictate all of it."
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Group says a number of Kansas Republicans support legislation authorizing the arrest of federal officials who implement Obamacare
Twenty Republicans who are either already serving in the Kansas Legislature, or will be sworn into office in January, say they would support legislation to "nullify" the Affordable Care Act and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement it, according to a survey compiled by a group called Campaign for Liberty.
The question from Campaign for Liberty, which was founded by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was "Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?"
I started calling some of those who answered `Yes' to that question, and the first one I reached was state Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby.
Howell said he is an ardent opponent of the federal Affordable Care Act and would do everything legislatively possible to prevent its implementation but he said he disagreed with the part of the question that dealt with authorizing state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials to implement the law.
"That is not worded well," Howell said. He said during the course of the campaign, he did not remember responding to that particular survey.
State Rep.-elect Allan Rothlisberg, R-Junction City, also said he was vehemently opposed to the ACA, but the part of the question dealing with arresting federal officials was not something he would support. "Not arrest them but we are just not going to assist them," he said.