State of Kansas Archives: on Health Care


Milton Wolf: Apologizes for posting gruesome medical X-rays on Facebook

Milton Wolf sought forgiveness Sunday from anyone offended by his posting to Facebook of gory medical images of dead & injured people.

Wolf responded to a story published by The Topeka Capital-Journal and a tidal wave of condemnation about X-ray imager he uploaded to the social media site and sadistic jokes he made online about individuals killed by gunfire or harmed in other ways. "Several years ago, I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed," Wolf, a radiologist, said. "I soon removed those images. However, my mistakes are my own & I take full responsibility for them."

He said the cumulative effect of witnessing human suffering & tragedy took a toll on those practicing medicine, but "I am truly sorry and ask for your forgiveness."

Wolf also held his "political adversary" responsible for igniting controversy about the images. He said Roberts "wants to attack me as a doctor rather than giving Kansans a reason to vote for him."

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal AdWatch on 2014 Kansas Senate race Feb 23, 2014

Mark Pryor: AdWatch: False that Medicare vouchers increase seniors' cost

The main takeaway from a recent campaign ad from Sen. Mark Pryor is that Republican challenger Rep. Tom Cotton is changing Medicare as we know it. A Feb. 5 television ad features Courtney, a young woman who's "never been really political."

"It says here Cotton voted in Congress to change Medicare into a voucher system that will increase out-of-pocket expenses for every senior in Arkansas," Courtney said, pointing to her laptop. "Thousands of dollars every year. My grandma and grandpa can't afford that, and neither can my parents." The facts?

Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Feb 5, 2014

Tom Cotton: AdWatch: Cotton supports Medicare "premium support" vouchers

Mark Pryor's TV ad says, "Cotton voted in Congress to change Medicare into a voucher system that will increase out-of-pocket expenses for every senior." PolitiFact's fact checking:
Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Feb 5, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: Voted for ObamaCare early on but now consistently against it

Back in 2009, Ross cast a somewhat reluctant vote to advantage the health care reform debate in June of 2009 along with a block of fellow Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Ross contends that vote does not matter since that version of health care reform--H.R.3200--did not become law. Instead the Senate version--H.R.3962--eventually was the bill that became ObamaCare.

The truth? Ross was the leader of a small group of Blue Dogs that signed on to ObamaCare after receiving several key concessions. One of the concessions was a delay in any vote until after the August recess. During the heated town hall meetings, Ross came to see that he could not support ObamaCare. After that, he consistently voted against the bill and even voted for repeal. However, the turnaround does not erase the record.

Source: Russellville Courier FactCheck: 2014 Arkansas Governor race Nov 27, 2013

Asa Hutchinson: Voted against individuals keeping health insurance plans

[A GOP press release highlighted] a 2009 committee vote where Ross against an amendment that would have allowed individuals to keep their health insurance plans if they liked the plan. Now, millions of Americans got cancellation notices from their health insurance companies.

"The Republican Party is referencing an amendment to a bill that never became law," said a Ross spokesman. "Ross' opponents have used distortions to smear Ross' consistent opposition to ObamaCare. The truth is Mike Ross allowed Americans' to keep their health insurance by consistently voting against ObamaCare and voting to repeal the law multiple times over."

The truth lies somewhere in between. While the parliamentary maneuvers did end up causing a different bill to become ObamaCare, the bill Ross voted for in committee in 2009 was the version the House was advancing at the time. If that bill had not mattered as Ross now claims, there would not have been the intense debate and pressure put on Ross to vote for the bill.

Source: Russellville Courier FactCheck: 2014 Arkansas Governor race Nov 27, 2013

Mark Pryor: AdWatch: Targeted by RNC robocalls for support of ObamaCare

Sen. Mark Pryor is among 11 Democrats targeted by the Republican National Committee for their support of ObamaCare. The RNC is using robocalls and posting on Facebook to urge people to call their representatives and ask "why they supported President Obama's lie that people could keep their healthcare plans under ObamaCare."

The targets besides Pryor are Reps. Gary Peters (MI) and Bruce Braley (IA), Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Mark Begich (AK), Dick Durbin (IL), Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Udall (CO). The robocall script reads:

"President Obama and the Democrats said you could keep your healthcare plan under ObamaCare. Now we know [SENATOR] actually VOTED to make it more difficult. Call [SENATOR] at (XXX)-XXX-XXX & ask why [he/she] lied."

The robocalls are a response to Democrats launching the "GOP Shutdown Watch" campaign, highlighting Republican senate candidates who supported the partial federal government shutdown.

Source: MI Daily Tribune AdWatch: 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Nov 5, 2013

Pat Roberts: First to call for Sebelius resignation over ObamaCare fiasco

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is on the hot seat as the Obama administration battles to rebound from a problem-plagued rollout of the Affordable Care Act [and the ObamaCare website healthcare.gov]. She set off a fresh round of GOP criticism after she said those calling for her resignation were "people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place."

Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican from her home state of Kansas who stood by her side more than four years ago when President Obama announced her nomination, was the first lawmaker to call for her resignation.

Todd Tiahrt, a former GOP congressman from Kansas, said that the call for Sebelius' ouster is merited. "Look at a parallel situation in the private sector of a CEO being hired by a board of directors to implement something that they have heavily invested in," Tiahrt said. "If it comes to a disaster, I would venture to guess that the CEO would immediately be withdrawn and fired. "

Source: USA Today reporting on 2014 Kansas Senate race Oct 29, 2013

Todd Tiahrt: Calls for Sebelius resignation over ObamaCare fiasco

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is on the hot seat as the Obama administration battles to rebound from a problem-plagued rollout of the Affordable Care Act [and the ObamaCare website healthcare.gov]. She set off a fresh round of GOP criticism after she said those calling for her resignation were "people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place."

Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican from her home state of Kansas who stood by her side more than four years ago when President Obama announced her nomination, was the first lawmaker to call for her resignation.

Todd Tiahrt, a former GOP congressman from Kansas, said that the call for Sebelius' ouster is merited. "Look at a parallel situation in the private sector of a CEO being hired by a board of directors to implement something that they have heavily invested in," Tiahrt said. "If it comes to a disaster, I would venture to guess that the CEO would immediately be withdrawn and fired. "

Source: USA Today reporting on 2014 Kansas Senate race Oct 29, 2013

Tom Cotton: Federal shut down to force ObamaCare delay by one year

Pryor blasts Cotton for forcing a government shutdown and hurting the economy in a new ad: "Tom Cotton cost us billions. The government shutdown cost America $24 billion. Cotton and a small group of reckless congressmen took our country to the brink of default," the ad's narrator says.

In response, the Cotton campaign released the following statement: "This ad is a total fabrication and is just the latest example of Sen. Pryor telling Arkansans one thing and doing something completely different in Washington. Tom Cotton voted five times to fund the government and end the shutdown. Sen. Pryor voted against four separate compromise measures that could have opened the government sooner. Instead, Sen. Pryor chose once again to side with Pres. Obama and Harry Reid. Among the compromise measures that Pryor opposed, one would simply have delayed the individual mandate in ObamaCare by one year, giving Arkansas families the same grace period the Administration has already given to big businesses.

Source: Arkansas Matters's AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 22, 2013

Tom Cotton: FactCheck: No special subsidies for congressional staff

An ad from Tom Cotton attacks Pryor on ObamaCare. Here's the text:

"What's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. But not in Washington. Mark Pryor cast the deciding vote to make you live under ObamaCare. But Pryor votes himself and everyone in Congress special subsidies so they're protected from ObamaCare. Exceptions and special subsidies for Mark Pryor. Higher insurance premiums for you."

The "special subsidy" refers to a provision, pushed by Republicans, that requires members of Congress and their staff to buy health coverage through the ObamaCare marketplaces. Federal worker benefits would take the same money that it would have spent on the government's old health insurance and spend it on whatever lawmakers and their staffs purchased on the ObamaCare marketplaces. In other words, it would do what every other employer does. Continuing that cost-sharing is the "special subsidy" the Cotton ad refers to. The assertion falls wide of the facts, and we rate this claim False.

Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 7, 2013

Mike Beebe: Provide better care without federal Affordable Care Act

We must find a better way to pay for health care in Arkansas, regardless of the legal fate of the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas has a unique opportunity to be an incubator for sensible, system-wide improvements to our health-care system. Our ability to care for the well-being of all of our people, while addressing a broken system, could set the standard for America.
Source: Arkansas 2011 gubernatorial press release #3042 Aug 25, 2011

Milton Wolf: ObamaCare extends "crony health care" which began in 1929

While we certainly have problems, America still has the finest heath care system in the world. That patients flee their government-run systems--like Great Britain's and Canada's--and flock to America for our medical miracles should be an obvious clue to not recreate their failures; obvious to everyone, that is, except ObamaCare supporters.

While the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to interfere with our health care, the big-government types have been at work for decades and have, by any fair assessment, wreaked havoc. The first health care waiver was granted in 1929 when the American Medical Association successfully lobbied that Blue Cross be exempt from certain regulations and taxes. Thus began the era of crony health care where Big Government's friends were more equal than the rest of us.

Source: Milton Wolf OpEd on FoxNews.com: 2014 Kansas Senate race May 10, 2011

Milton Wolf: ObamaCare turns health insurers into public utilities

ObamaCare mandates that every free citizen purchase state-sanctioned insurance while it increases taxes (on everything from tampons and tanning salons to gold and the sale of your home); it increases spending even more; it turns health insurance companies into public utilities; it eliminates proven free-market reforms and it sets in place the mechanism for health care rationing. What's more, ObamaCare has been ruled unconstitutional.

The unkeepable promises of ObamaCare are, as we say in medicine, too numerous to count, and are already collapsing. You can keep your current doctor and your current insurance. No tax increases. No rationing. Reduce the deficit. Four million new jobs created--"400,000 almost immediately." Public hearings. These are the pathetic peddlings of false hope.

The President made yet another empty promise: if there was a way to solve our health care problems with the free market, he said, he'd be happy to do so. I'm calling his obvious bluff.

Source: Milton Wolf OpEd on FoxNews.com: 2014 Kansas Senate race May 10, 2011

Milton Wolf: Free market solutions ALREADY work; so add more

The President made an empty promise: if there was a way to solve our health care problems with the free market, he said, he'd be happy to do so. I'm calling his obvious bluff. It's not just that free market solutions will work, it's that they already are! Areas like Lasik eye surgery, cosmetic surgery and even medical tourism have seen medical costs decrease and patient satisfaction soar. There are numerous reform measures Americans deserve; key among them are these:
  1. Tax Fairness. Allow Americans to purchase their own insurance without a tax penalty.
  2. End state insurance and licensing monopolies. End the devastating boundaries that kill competition and drive up costs.
  3. Eliminate frivolous lawsuits. You pay a "lawsuit tax" on everything from Band-Aids to open-heart surgery. The average obstetrician's malpractice insurance cost approaches $100,000 per year & they each deliver around 100 babies per year. That $1000 per baby "lawsuit tax". Source: Milton Wolf OpEd on FoxNews.com: 2014 Kansas Senate race May 10, 2011

    Robin Carnahan: To repeal ObamaCare, repeal Congress plan first

    The pair's sharpest exchange came over the health care reform law, which Blunt has said should be repealed. Carnahan suggested Blunt should first surrender his own congressional health insurance. "If you want to repeal health care reform and let insurance companies go back to their worst abuses, Congressman, then you ought to repeal your own first," she said. "And man up, and do what you're asking other people to do."

    Blunt responded by saying he tried to limit health care costs by limiting medical malpractice liability--a position he said Carnahan opposed because of financial support from trial lawyers. "Don't tell me I wasn't doing my job," Blunt said. "Don't tell me I wasn't trying."

    Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 14, 2010

    Roy Blunt: Limit health costs by limiting medical malpractice liability

    The pair's sharpest exchange came over the health care reform law, which Blunt has said should be repealed. Carnahan suggested Blunt should first surrender his own congressional health insurance. "If you want to repeal health care reform and let insurance companies go back to their worst abuses, Congressman, then you ought to repeal your own first," she said. "And man up, and do what you're asking other people to do."

    Blunt responded by saying he tried to limit health care costs by limiting medical malpractice liability--a position he said Carnahan opposed because of financial support from trial lawyers. "Don't tell me I wasn't doing my job," Blunt said. "Don't tell me I wasn't trying."

    Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 14, 2010

    Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Fix broken logistics of healthcare delivery

    All four candidates feel there should be changes in health care. "There's absolutely nothing in this bill that controls cost. And you're seeing it escalate tremendously now," says Boozman.

    "The logistics of our delivery system are broken and we've got to fix them," adds Lincoln.

    Source: Today's THV coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

    John Boozman: I want to be the deciding vote to repeal ObamaCare

    Lincoln said, "I'm the most independent voice in Washington these days, quite frankly," she said. "Some people say I'm too liberal and others say I'm too conservative. The fact is, I'm in the middle; I'm working hard; I'm out there working to make a difference."

    Boozman repeatedly highlighted Lincoln's role as a pivotal vote in the passage of Obama's health-care law. "Sen. Lincoln is very proud of being the deciding vote of Obamacare. I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it," Boozman said.

    Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

    John Boozman: Nothing in healthcare bill controls cost; much escalates it

    All four candidates feel there should be changes in health care. "There's absolutely nothing in this bill that controls cost. And you're seeing it escalate tremendously now," says Boozman.

    "The logistics of our delivery system are broken and we've got to fix them," adds Lincoln.

    Source: Today's THV coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

    Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Worked to ensure the overhaul helped small businesses

    At one point in the debate, Boozman and Lincoln were allowed to pose each other questions. Boozman asked Lincoln to defend her vote for the federal health care overhaul.

    Lincoln said she worked to make sure the overhaul didn't include a government-run insurance option and helped small businesses. "Where there are places to correct in this bill, I will work hard to make it better. The fact is I'm hearing from Arkansans that there were a lot of things we needed to do and I think this got us started," Lincoln said.

    Boozman said he voted against the overhaul because he heard overwhelming opposition from Arkansans to the legislation. "Something needs to be done, but the idea that we've got to do something [in Congress] and that's the solution is what I think is wrong with government," Boozman said.

    Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

    John Boozman: Solution like overhaul is what's wrong with government

    At one point in the debate, Boozman and Lincoln were allowed to pose each other questions. Boozman asked Lincoln to defend her vote for the federal health care overhaul.

    Lincoln said she worked to make sure the overhaul didn't include a government-run insurance option and helped small businesses. "Where there are places to correct in this bill, I will work hard to make it better. The fact is I'm hearing from Arkansans that there were a lot of things we needed to do and I think this got us started," Lincoln said.

    Boozman said he voted against the overhaul because he heard overwhelming opposition from Arkansans to the legislation. "Something needs to be done, but the idea that we've got to do something [in Congress] and that's the solution is what I think is wrong with government," Boozman said.

    Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

    Blanche Lambert Lincoln: I stopped the public option in ObamaCare

    Rep. Boozman called the health-care bill a "job killer" and Senator Lincoln defended her vote, while admitting the bill isn't perfect:

    BOOZMAN: "Would you still cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare?"

    LINCOLN: "People told me they wanted no government health care and I stopped it. I did not support the public option and I stopped that government health care. This is a complicated issue. This is not a perfect bill, it's going to take us time. Where there are places to correct in this bill I will. I would just simply ask, if we're not going to do something, we're just going to continue the status quo. Is that appropriate?"

    BOOZMAN:"Certainly something needs to be done but the idea that we've got to do something and that's the solution, I think is what's wrong with government."

    Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

    John Boozman: Something needs to be done, but ObamaCare is a job killer

    Rep. Boozman called the health-care bill a "job killer" and Senator Lincoln defended her vote, while admitting the bill isn't perfect:

    BOOZMAN: "Would you still cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare?"

    LINCOLN: "People told me they wanted no government health care and I stopped it. I did not support the public option and I stopped that government health care. This is a complicated issue. This is not a perfect bill, it's going to take us time. Where there are places to correct in this bill I will. I would just simply ask, if we're not going to do something, we're just going to continue the status quo. Is that appropriate?"

    BOOZMAN:"Certainly something needs to be done but the idea that we've got to do something and that's the solution, I think is what's wrong with government."

    Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

    Lisa Johnston: Guaranteed high quality care for all health conditions

    All Americans should be guaranteed high quality and complete care for all health conditions. We should not be forced to live in fear of being kicked off our insurance plan or having coverage denied when we get sick.
    Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, lisaforkansas.com, "Issues" Aug 12, 2010

    Todd Tiahrt: FactCheck: Yes, ObamaCare levies some taxes before services

    Todd Tiahrt said in a House speech that ObamaCare will "collect higher taxes for 10 years and provide health care for only six years." Republicans have often charged that the Democrats are cooking the books. Is Tiahrt's statement true?

    The comment does not tell the whole story. Two of the highest-profile and significant elements of the bill start in 2014. Health care exchanges would start that year, as well as subsidies to help people buy coverage on the exchange. And, yes, some of the tax provisions that do start immediately: a 10% levy on indoor tanning, and an escalating annual fee on drugmakers.

    So Tiahrt is correct that the bill's biggest expansions in coverage do not happen until 2014, and that some taxation begins well before that. But he makes it sound like all the taxes hit immediately and there are no significant benefits in the first four years. In fact, the taxes levied in the early years account for a small percentage of the total dollars involved. So we find his claim Half True.

    Source: PolitiFact FactCheck on 2014 Kansas Senate race Mar 16, 2010

    Mark Parkinson: Enact a real public smoking ban

    Let's ramp up our fight against cancer by enacting a public smoking ban. It is time. 24 states including North Carolina have done it. If the largest tobacco producing state in the country can enact a public smoking ban, surely Kansas can.

    Let me be ver clear. I'm not proposing that we pass a watered down smoking ban. I do not want legislation that the tobacco industry writes, full of loopholes and not a real ban. 75% of Kansans want a real public smoking ban and I am asking you to give that to them.

    Source: Kansas 2010 State of the State Address Jan 11, 2010

    Matt Blunt: Allow small businesses to form association health plans

    With the signing of HB1827 by Gov. Blunt, access to affordable health care has been expanded for the 88% of Missouri’s employers with 25 or fewer employees. This legislation enables small employers to form association health plans under a common plan design and premium structure to reduce costs and improve access in the health insurance marketplace. This is a tremendous tool Missouri’s small employers can use to access affordable health care, and in so doing, attract and retain quality employees.
    Source: Rita Needham in Kansas City Star Jul 24, 2006

    Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Can’t get our arms around the uninsured

    “I hear it from corporations, parents, single people, the young and the elderly,” she said. “We can’t get our arms around the uninsured. That’s the problem,” Lincoln said. When people can’t afford to pay in to the insurance system, the insured and taxpayers are left with the expense of their treatment, she said. “There’s not one particular bill, or pill, that’s going to make us all better,” Lincoln said of health care.
    Source: AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

    Kathleen Sebelius: Obtain better prices for prescriptions & services

    I said I would find better, more efficient ways of delivering services to the more than 450,000 Kansans who rely on the state for health care. To help accomplish that goal, I created the Governor’s Office of Health Planning and Finance. Its small but talented staff is already hard at work on plans to obtain better prices for prescription drugs and other health care services by leveraging our buying power in the marketplace.
    Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Mike Huckabee: ARKids First program: record decreases in uninsured

    We led the nation in the percentage decrease of uninsured citizens, in large part because of the passage four years ago of the ARKids First program, which is one of the nation’s premier programs for health insurance. Many were thrilled when Columbia University released the report last year that showed Arkansas reduced child poverty more than any other state.
    Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

    Bill Graves: Eliminate waiting period for HealthWave child health care

    For the third year, HealthWave -- our health care program for children -- is fully funded. As recommended by my Early Childhood Task Force, we have started the process of eliminating the 6-month waiting period for families enrolling their children in HealthWave by adding more state general fund dollars. Eliminating the waiting period will allow us to serve more children.
    Source: State of the state address to Kansas legislature Jan 8, 2001

    Bill Graves: More funding for Medicaid matching & pharmaceuticals

    We will match federal Medicaid dollars so that low-income women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer can better access treatment for these all-too-common, yet curable, diseases. Until now, Medicaid dollars could only be used to screen for these diseases; now they can provide treatment. Also underway is a pharmaceutical buy-back program to allow long-term care facilities to return to pharmacies unused medications for repackaging. We anticipate savings of at least $1.4 million a year.
    Source: State of the state address to Kansas legislature Jan 8, 2001

    Jean Carnahan: Supports Patient Bill of Rights

    Jean Carnahan made speeches several days a week on her husband’s Senate campaign trail and worked on state legislation for better health care and education. She advocated the Equal Rights Amendment, gun control, & workplace child-care centers. “Democrats in Washington are struggling to save Social Security, to strengthen Medicare, to pay down the national debt, to provide a patient’s bill of rights and to give targeted tax cuts that don’t harm services to the neediest in our society,” she said.
    Source: Kevin Murphy, The Kansas City Star Nov 4, 2000

    • The above quotations are from State of Kansas Politicians: Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
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    2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
      Democrats:
    Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
    V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
    Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
    Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

    Republicans:
    Amb.John Bolton(MD)
    Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
    Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
    Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
    Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
    Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
    Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
    Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
    Rep.Peter King(NY)
    Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
    Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
    Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
    Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
    Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
    Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
    Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
    Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
    2016 Third Party Candidates:
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    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Donald Trump(NY)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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