Daily Archives: March 3, 2014

Public wants Medicaid expansion; Legislature doesn’t care

healthcaregovAnother survey shows strong public support for expanding Medicaid in Kansas. Yet the Legislature still won’t hold a hearing on it. The poll by Public Opinion Strategies, which was commissioned by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, found that 72 percent of Kansans, including 59 percent of Republicans, support accepting federal funds to broaden access to Medicaid. A 2013 Kansas Hospital Association poll found that 60 percent of Kansans support expanding Medicaid. By blocking expansion, Kansas has already lost out on nearly $70 million in Medicaid funds since the start of this year, according to the Kansas Medicaid Access Coalition.

Open thread (March 3)

thread

More evidence of Roberts’ hard-right turn

rightturnonlyWhen CQ Roll Call looked at Sen. Pat Roberts’ 2013 voting record, it found the Kansas Republican voted against President Obama’s wishes 66 percent of the time, a score 6 percentage points higher than the Senate GOP average, and voted the party line 99 percent of the times when most Republicans voted opposite of most Democrats. “After 16 years in the Senate (and as many years before that in the House) cementing a reputation as an establishment Republican, one driven much less by ideology than by a desire for accomplishment, Roberts tacked hard to the right last year,” wrote CQ Roll Call’s David Hawkings.

Norquist still likes Brownback in 2016

norquistGov. Sam Brownback’s poll numbers have made re-election this year his first concern. Yet Grover Norquist (in photo), founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, told National Review Online that Brownback would be competitive if he decided to run for president in 2016. “Because he’s done it once, it is credible that he may choose to do it again. He’s thought about it,” Norquist said, praising how Brownback succeeded in replacing nine of 11 moderate Republican state senators in 2012 so he’d have a more like-minded Legislature to support his aggressive economic agenda. Asked about the two surviving moderates, Norquist said: “One, I’m told, is shell-shocked and sits in the corner and doesn’t talk to anybody. And the other sort of came over and rejoined our team.”