Daily Archives: Aug. 16, 2011

Of course Kansas is being sued over abortion law

It’s no surprise that Kansas is being sued over its new law barring private insurance companies from including abortion coverage in their comprehensive insurance plans sold to private companies and individuals. The prohibition doesn’t make legal or free-market sense. “This law is part of a nationwide trend to take away insurance coverage for a legal medical procedure that is an important part of basic health care for women,” said Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project, which filed the lawsuit Tuesday. If they want coverage, women in Kansas have to pay extra to purchase a supplemental policy, assuming one is even available. But who plans ahead for a crisis pregnancy or for being raped — contrary to the offensive suggestion by state Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, that doing so would be akin to carrying a spare tire in your car?

Brownback flip-flopped on federal grant

Not only did Gov. Sam Brownback accept a $31.5 million federal grant last February to set up an online insurance exchange, he unofficially approved of Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger applying for it last year. He defended those actions at a meeting in June of the Johnson County Republican Party’s Elephant Club. “The state of Kansas for over a decade has tried to do some form of insurance exchange itself,” he said, noting how such an exchange could help lower health care costs. He then explained that he wanted to use the grant “not to do Obamacare” but to “do an exchange that would provide a market mechanism, because I think we could use more market forces in health care.” He was correct — an exchange is a good idea that had been championed by GOP lawmakers for years. But then last week Brownback flip-flopped and unilaterally decided to return the money.

State GOP wants nothing to do with health care law

Gov. Sam Brownback didn’t go far enough in returning a $31.5 million federal health care grant, according to the Kansas Republican Party. Delegates at Saturday’s state committee meeting in Wichita approved a resolution rejecting all aspects of the Affordable Care Act. It said that all efforts by “any government agency, entity, or elected representative in the state of Kansas to study, develop or implement an ACA-compliant exchange or any component part, including those ACA-compliant components related to Medicaid, must be immediately halted.”