The White House budget for 2013 provides no construction funding for a planned livestock disease lab in Kansas and calls for a “comprehensive assessment of the project in 2012” to consider “the cost, safety, and any alternatives to the current plan.”
Republican lawmakers in red states are in a pickle. The Affordable Care Act requires each state to set up a health care exchange designed to bring down insurance costs for consumers. Republicans want no part of anything related to Obama's health care reform law, which they see as a federal intrusion on states rights. But if state lawmakers don't set up an exchange, the federal government will. In September, Republican senators in Missouri prevented the state from accepting $21 million of federal money to lay the groundwork for an exchange. Next door, the Sunflower State is in a similar quandary, reports Bryan Thompson of Kansas Public Radio.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback answers questions in July about his policy regarding the new federal health care law. During his campaign for the governor's office last year, he said: "What we'll do in Kansas is we'll do what we're required to do, but we're gonna fight it all the way."
A few months ago, Kansas seemed ahead of the game in preparing for an important requirement of the federal health law. The state had started to plan for exchanges — online marketplaces to help individuals and small businesses compare and buy health insurance.