Daily Archives: Nov. 14, 2013

Too bad Kansas doesn’t have its own exchange

The good news is that state health insurance exchanges are operating much better than the disasterous federal website. The bad news for Kansas is that Gov. Sam Brownback blocked the state from creating its own exchange. As a result, very few Kansans have been able to sign up for insurance. Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, only 371 Kansans successfully selected a marketplace plan through HealthCare.gov. Nationwide, only 26,794 people signed up for insurance through the federal site during its first month of operation. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the low numbers show why Obamacare “should be put to pasture.”

Open thread (Nov. 14)

Large majority supports raising minimum wage

A new Gallup survey found that 76 percent of Americans would support a law to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 a hour (currently $7.25). Even 58 percent of Republicans backed the increase. A large majority (69 percent) also support the $9 rate along with future automatic increases tied to inflation, though only 43 percent of Republicans supported automatic increases. The minimum wage’s real value has declined by 33 percent since 1968, Gallup reported.

School test results are disappointing

It is discouraging but not too surprising that scores on statewide reading and math tests went down this year. The state is transitioning to new academic standards that are no longer specifically aligned with the old tests. Also, school funding has been cut sharply in recent years. Still, after years of increased achievement, the drop is disappointing. Another report released this month showed mostly flat results on 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, though Kansas students continued to score above the national averages in math and reading.