Daily Archives: July 1, 2013

Roberts’ GOP weekly address blasts Obamacare

Delivering the Republican weekly address Saturday, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., blasted Obamacare and argued there are too many unanswered questions about the health insurance exchanges and too little time to answer them before the exchanges go live Oct. 1. “The fear is that only the sick will pay to join the exchange without young healthy people to foot the bill, then all costs will further skyrocket,” Roberts said. “Young healthy people find the exchanges so costly and objectionable that the administration is drafting the NBA and the NFL to pitch Obamacare. Good grief.” Roberts also touted his bill to annul the exchanges and the individual mandate if the administration is not ready Oct. 1. “We need to make the right kind of change to the health care system – change that doesn’t include higher taxes, higher premiums and decision-making by government bureaucrats rather than our own doctors,” he said.

Other state legislatures also trying to control courts

The change in judicial selection for the Kansas Court of Appeals, effective Monday, is among the evidence cited in an ABA Journal article headlined “Legislators and special interests are making sure we get the state court judges they want.” Author L. Jay Jackson noted that there were more judicial impeachment attempts in 2011 than at any other time in history and that lawmakers have cut court funding and otherwise tried to attack and undermine state judiciaries. “The legislature would very much like legislative supremacy, but our Constitution requires judicial supremacy,” said former American Bar Association president Stephen Zack, in the article. “It’s an inherent conflict that makes our democracy work. Our judiciary tells the legislature when they can’t do what they want to do. As a result (of the conflict) we have legislators, instead of deferring to the judiciary as a co-equal branch of government, treating the judiciary like an agency – as if it were a library or another bridge project – and that’s not what it is.”

Lots of Kansas experience at forefront on Obamacare

As the Hill newspaper’s Healthwatch blog identified “10 to watch on Obamacare rollout,” Kansas was represented by more than the obvious name, former governor and current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The list of key players in the private and public sectors included Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger (in photo), because she leads the health insurance committee at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That job gives “her a front-row seat as states grapple with predictions of ‘rate shock’ under ObamaCare,” the blog said. Also in the top 10: Andy Allison, who directed the now-defunct Kansas Health Policy Authority and now heads Arkansas’ Medicaid program. “Allison has been called a visionary for his role in a proposal to use funding from ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion to finance the purchase of private coverage for low-income people on the state’s insurance exchange. The plan is seen as a possible red-state alternative to the expansion and has been approved both by federal health officials and the Arkansas state legislature.”