Insurance exchange – Gov. Sam Brownback is willing to forgo an opportunity to establish health care insurance guidelines that will work best for Kansans in order to make a partisan point. It is a perfect example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The object of the health insurance exchanges is to establish an online marketplace where consumers can buy basic health insurance at competitive prices. We’re talking free enterprise here. In response to this opportunity to help those who don’t have coverage through their employer or elsewhere obtain adequate coverage at an affordable price, Brownback baldly states he is more interested in playing politics. How disappointing.
Gov. Sam Brownback may not like the insurance mandate and other elements of “Obamacare,” but he should be for a marketplace in which consumers can shop from among private health insurance plans. It originally was a Republican idea, and it remains a good one. Brownback, who also turned away a $31.5 million federal grant to set up an exchange in Kansas, is being small-minded about this, and it is to the detriment of Kansas consumers.
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Task force – Gov. Sam Brownback’s school efficiency task force is packed with six certified public accountants, and the other four have business backgrounds. Only two of them have served on boards of education; zero work in a school. Such a group of intelligent bean counters undoubtedly will find ways to reduce costs, although we can’t help but wonder how they will define a quality education.
Hays Daily News
Voter fraud – No one wants voter fraud. But that is not the real issue. The real issue is a dominant Republican Party using the myth of voter fraud to suppress voting by people who are likely to vote Democratic. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the poster child for this GOP enterprise. It is scandalous that this scare tactic has gone as far as it has to suppress voting by people who do not fly, drive or have a birth certificate in their desk drawer.
Winfield Daily Courier
Open-carry – The Overland Park City Council approved an ordinance to let legal gun owners openly carry their weapons – if they are in holsters with the safety engaged. Wichita, earlier this year, passed a similar ordinance permitting “open-carry.” The two communities indicate their actions were a response to a nonbinding opinion issued by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt that cities can’t enforce gun laws that are more restrictive than the provisions of state law. Apparently, it’s up to the Legislature to address the situation before Kansas begins to resemble the Old West, with residents strolling down the street wearing sidearms.
Tax cut – Associated Press observed that the Brownback administration has “developed talking points to deflect anticipated criticism” of the massive tax cuts it pushed through the Kansas Legislature last spring. Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff are concerned that the state will undergo major budget problems in the coming year and in subsequent years as well. That’s a valid concern. After all, it was the legislative research staff, not Democrats, who calculated that the tax cuts Brownback has boasted will resurrect the Kansas economy will result in a cumulative funding shortfall of almost $2.5 billion in the next six years.