Daily Archives: Nov. 7, 2011

Goddard Mayor Gregory makes health-care case to Rep. Pompeo

Rep. Mike Pompeo addresses a small group at Gerrard's Restaurant in Goddard. Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory, second from right, pressed Pompeo over the national health care law that he's vowed to work to repeal.

Saying she had benefited as both a small-business owner and a mother, Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory today pressed Rep. Mike Pompeo to change his view that Congress should completely repeal the national health care law.

Pompeo didn’t back off from his long-held stance that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — which he and other Republicans derisively call “Obamacare” — should be repealed in its entirety.

He did, however, express some support for safeguards against insurance companies denying people coverage.

The exchange took place at Gerrard’s Restaurant in Goddard, where Pompeo made a whistle stop as part of a three-day campaign kickoff swing through the 4th District.

Pompeo timed the kickoff tour to coincide with the one-year-anniversary of his 2010 election when a Republican wave — spurred in part by voter unrest over the health-care law — returned control of the House to the GOP.

Gregory, who has run for state Legislature and Sedgwick County Commission as a Democrat, told Pompeo that her business — the First Gear running store in Wichita Old Town — has benefited from employer tax credits in the Affordable Care Act.

“In my business, we pay 100 percent of the premiums of all of our employees,” Gregory said. “And this is the first time we’ve ever gotten tax credit for doing that.”

She also said she’s taken advantage of a provision allowing parents to cover their children until age 26.

“I’ve got a 23-year-old son that I’m able to keep on my health-insurance policy,” she said. “So I think there are good portions of it that we need to be able to hold on to and maybe just discard the bad.”

Pompeo conceded there are “laudable goals” in the bill, but added “I can’t imagine keeping any of it.” Read More »

State marketing campaign aims to recruit adoptive families

TOPEKA — The state plans to use $300,000 in federal funds to recruit adoptive parents for some of the children in state custody who are the most difficult to place, Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Sec. Rob Siedlecki said today.

Siedlecki said it’s difficult to find families who want to adopt kids who are age 8 and older, are in a minority group, have a disability or want to stay with siblings, he said. The marketing campaign will help find more parents to take those children in, he said.

About 900 children are available for adoption in Kansas, though many live with a relative or a foster family that plans to adopt. About 420 of those children are searching for families on sites such as www.adoptkskids.org, according to SRS. Adoptions through the state are free, legally secure and available for state subsidies, Siedlecki said.

“These 400 children really are alone, and they need our love and attention,” he said, before showing a public service announcement that will be shown statewide.

During the 2011 fiscal year, 761 adoptions were finalized statewide. Since the 2012 fiscal year started in July, 178 adoptions have been finalized for children in state care, according to SRS. The agency has set a goal of 800 adoptions by the end of the fiscal year.

Gov. Brownback: MU leaving Big 12 bad for Kansas City

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback said this morning that he is  sorry to see the University of Missouri leave the Big 12 Conference, and he thinks it’s a bad move for Kansas City, which has enjoyed the economic boost that accompanies the annual Border War game at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I think this is bad for them,” he said.

Brownback said he called Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the head of the board of curators for the University of Missouri to say he didn’t think it was a good move, particularly for the Kansas City area. But he welcomed West Virginia University and Texas Christian University to the Big 12.

Brownback said that, compared to the situation the Big 12 was in a year ago, things are going better.

“I believe it will ultimately be the strongest conference in the country,” he said. “The level of competition is excellent and growing.”