State Senate modifies health 'freedom' proposal

TOPEKA (AP) -- The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a proposed amendment to the state constitution challenging a key federal mandate on health care.

But before advancing the so-called health "freedom" amendment on a voice vote Thursday, senators modified it so that a statewide vote on the proposition would occur only if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the federal health care law.

A final vote on the measure was expected Thursday evening.

The amendment would declare that Kansans have the right to refuse to buy health insurance. A provision in the federal health care overhaul of 2010 requiring most Americans to buy insurance, starting in 2014.

Critics of the proposed amendment said if the federal law is upheld, it will be supreme, making the Kansas measure meaningless.

Tagged: Health insurance mandate

Comments

verity 2 years, 1 month ago

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure someone will be glad to) but in the end don't we all pay more if people don't have health insurance because they tend to not go see a doctor until they have a really serious problem and then go to the emergency room which is more expensive and/or require more expensive treatment?

We live in a completely different world than we did even a decade ago, certainly different from fifty years ago when I was a child. Our medical knowledge and procedures are much more advanced. The cost of medical care is much more expensive, at least in part (and probably a large part) because of expensive technology which we all benefit from. And this is keeping many people alive and healthy. Although antibiotics have their downside (from overuse), many of us would be dead today if it weren't for them. Instead we are living healthy and productive lives.

We have to adapt to the world as it is today, not what it was in the (usually mostly mythical) past. We are, of course, going to have disagreements, but can we at least agree that the world has changed and that we have to make some changes?

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Greg Cooper 2 years, 1 month ago

Tell me, Kansas, what is the difference between the "freedom" not to have medical insurance and the requirement to have auto liability insurance.

The real issue here is that the (knee)-jerks in power in Kansas are exhibiting the juvenile equivalent of "I don't want to ............", where .................. is anything they are told to do. The difference is that the juvenile eventually learns that .................... is good for him and society and learns to go along with it as a responsible, productive member of that society.

The Kansas legislature needs no reason for its silliness, but it had better come up with some reasons that it isn't doing the business of the state. Elections can be brutal, as we see from the last Kansas election.

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svenway_park 2 years, 1 month ago

It really is pretty easy. As the R's say, the government can not force you to purchase health insurance. The Health Care act does not force anyone to do so.

However, as the D's point out, the federal government does have the right to impose a tax, or fee, upon those who choose not to purchase health insurance. There are hundreds of similar precedents, which have all been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.

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