The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling
Blunt: It's no surprise that few young people have signed up for Obamacare
01/15/2014 6:00 AM
01/15/2014 6:43 AM
Today’s hot yak:
• “It’s not surprising that young people in Missouri and across America are running away from the ObamaCare train wreck. Young Americans have suffered immensely under the Obama economy, and they’re right to have concerns about the cost of the president’s health care law.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on the news that just 25 percent of Missourians between 18-34 have enrolled in the program.
Blunt, a Republican, is right when he says the low number of young people enrolling spells trouble because young people, who don’t need as much health care, help pay for the program. That said, now that Obamacare is in place members of Congress might consider encouraging young people to sign up — not discourage them as Blunt did here. The senator notes that if not enough young people sign up, premiums will rise.
• “It is hard to understand how the air traffic controllers allowed a Southwest Airlines — we’re not talking about a small federal aviation aircraft — we’re talking about a domestic carrier of American citizens, how they allowed them to land at the wrong airstrip, at the wrong airport, on the wrong runway.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.
McCaskill said the incident Sunday evening in Branson where a Southwest Airlines plane landed at the wrong airport is a reminder that the country needs to spend enough money to ensure that air-controllers are adequately trained. But the problem may be more about pilot error as The Star reported Tuesday. (See the link above).
• “Traditionally, decisions regarding the funding of specific programs, such as all-day kindergarten, have been made by locally elected school boards.” — Kansas state Rep. Jene Vickrey, a Louisberg Republican, questioning Gov. Sam Brownback’s call for lawmakers to fund all-day kindergarten.
The conservative leaders of the Kansas House raised all sorts of questions about Brownback’s proposal, which the governor announced before they were told about it. House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, said Tuesday he was appointing a nine-member committee to study the idea.
• “Missouri has the worst campaign finance and ethics laws in the entire country.” — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander proposing a major overhaul to state campaign laws.
Kander, a former Democratic state lawmaker from Kansas City, has a history of pursuing ethics reforms, and he said Tuesday that it’s time to get serious on the issue. To that end, Kander said his plan was “not watered-down compromise,” but rather a bill that contained reforms that members of both parties will dislike. The guess here is that House leaders will stymie his proposal, but let’s see what happens.
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