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KS: Brownback shuns ObamaCare

By   /   November 8, 2012  /   8 Comments


Kansas continues to snub ObamaCare even though prospects for a federal repeal appear to have vanished.

By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter

FAIRWAY –  Kansas will continue to resist the federal imposition of ObamaCare, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday.

“Kansans feel Obamacare is an overreach by Washington and have rejected the state’s participation in this federal program,” Brownback said in a statement.

“ My administration will not partner with the federal government to create a state-federal partnership insurance exchange because we will not benefit from it and implementing it could cost Kansas taxpayers millions of dollars,” he said.

The partnership to which Brownback refers is an offer allowing states that aren’t building their own insurance exchanges to share in the operation of a federal version.

States have until Nov. 16 to take that offer, or the federal Department of Health and Human Services will require them to use federally prescribed market places.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, the state’s top insurance regulator, advocated taking the offer to keep as much Kansas control over the programs as possible, but Brownback rejected that recommendation Thursday.

Brownback and many conservative legislators have opposed the Affordable Care Act, which they call Obamacare, and view its universal coverage requirements as an intrusion on state and individual rights.

In August, 2011, the governor halted all state efforts to implement the law, hoping that a Mitt Romney victory in Tuesday’s election would lead to a national repeal of the plan. Brownback also returned $31.5 million in federal funding to help organize computerized health exchanges, which the law requires to help uninsured consumers find coverage required by law.

Romney failed to win Tuesday’s election and, following U.S. Supreme Court ratification of Obamacare earlier this year, Kansas now appears to have little choice other than to participate in an exchange of some kind.

Brownback’s rejection of a partial role in running the program in Kansas may not be as stark a choice as it first seems, said Beverly Gossage, founder of HSA Benefits Consulting Inc. in Eudora, and a policy specialist involved in the planning for the since-abandoned Kansas exchange.

Fundamentally, “it makes no difference what Kansas does,” Gossage said. “When you read the regulations, which are now more pages than the law itself, what a ‘partnership’ does, in reality, is give HHS  the right to change anything at any time.”

Nationally, some 15 states and the District of Columbia have begun creating frameworks for their health exchanges, according to HHS’ website. Three others are exploring partnership arrangements.

Contact Gene Meyer at [email protected]



Gene formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • I have kansas Medcaid and they havn’t pay no hospital bills at all for the last 7 months. Was only to be on it for 24 months (that would be 4 Spendowns) on my 5th spendown of 11,000 dollar per. Thats more than SSID is ? WHY

  • If they would set up their own Exchanges, they could make sure the money paid in premiums goes to Kansas insurance companies and feed their local economy.

  • We Kansans proudly support Governer Brownback’s decisions. Obamacare is a farse!

  • battle

    Obamacare is going to keep the nations economy growing very slowly.

  • I am glad Gov. Brownback will not control medical insurance in this state. I would rather it be controlled by the government. Brownback has messed up enough things in this state. I wouldn’t want him involved in my healthcare.

  • Affordable Care Act is what it says it is “Affordable”, Idiot savants like Mitt Romney, Govenor Brownback all need to be held accountable for their actions and stop beliving that people actually take what KAKE news as to say about them as reality…TV may win you an election, but if you shit where you sleep it doesnt go away….Affordable Care Act/Obama Care was a much needed thing in this country, Im very glad that it was passed and will be emplimented, sorry for all you want to be rich guys that get pimped by the 2% at every chance they get…Bet when a whore gets pimped she tends to like it.
    It all comes down to be a leader or a follower…..Sure its easy to say you “Support Brownback”…But does he support you? Think about that!!!!

  • Agreed…

  • Too much kool aid…