Daily Archives: Aug. 18, 2013

Kansas representatives part of shutdown showdown

A threat by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and some other lawmakers to shut down the federal government as a way to stall and defund Obamacare has been condemned by many GOP leaders and strategists as crazy talk – a repeat of the politically disastrous government shutdown in 1995-96. But all four U.S. House members from Kansas are on board with the idea. They signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., saying they “will not support any continuing resolution or appropriations legislation that funds further implementation or enforcement of Obamacare.” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, discussed the showdown with The Eagle editorial board, but it was unclear whether he is willing to take the government over a fiscal cliff or whether the threat is mostly a negotiation tactic. So far, neither of Kansas’ senators is backing the brinkmanship.

Thousands of Kansans too poor for health care

“The message that they’re too poor to qualify is not one they’re going to understand,” Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told Kansas Public Radio. She was referring to Kansans who don’t earn enough income to receive a tax credit to help them buy private health insurance (but who earn more than the current Medicaid cutoff of $6,000 for a family of four). These individuals were supposed to be covered by expanded Medicaid, but Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature have so far refused to allow the expansion – even though 100 percent of the cost would be paid for by the federal government for the first three years and 90 percent would be covered after that. A study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured estimated that about 58,000 uninsured Kansans would fall into the “too poor to qualify” coverage gap.

So they said

“I’ve been trying to do peace through zucchinis.” – Gov. Sam Brownback (in photo), on his sharing of the bounty from his family garden

“In the primary right now, it would be impossible for my mother to be elected in this day and age in Kansas.” – former Republican state Rep. William Kassebaum, about former U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker

“Obama’s dog got more air support than our guys in #Benghazi.” – U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, on Twitter

“They smile and say everything is wonderful and then stab you in the back.” – Kansas Board of Regents member Tim Emert, on some conservative state lawmakers’ dealings with higher education officials

“I would like to say that I have nothing to say.” – Vice Mayor Pete Meitzner, joking before the Wichita City Council approved the city’s 2014 budget