Brownback's health-care hypocrisy

Gov. Sam Brownback has blasted the federal government for waiting lists at Veterans Affairs hospitals. But if he’s really concerned about veterans’ health care, it’s not apparent from his voting record.

As part of the federal government, Brownback voted at least 13 times* to deny support for veterans’ health care just between 2003 and 2006.

And what about health care for the 5,700 Kansas veterans who don’t qualify for VA care and don’t have insurance to pay for care from other providers?

That’s right. According to a report last year from the Urban Institute, there are about 5,700 Kansas veterans who aren’t eligible for VA medical care and who don’t have health-care insurance. Sam Brownback doesn’t seem concerned about their health care.

Those veterans — and about 1,700 of their spouses, according to the report — are among the 80,000 Kansans the Kansas Health Institute estimates would be eligible for coverage under Medicaid, if the governor would agree to expand the program, as the Kansas Hospital Association and others have asked him to do.

As far as Sam Brownback is concerned, those veterans, those spouses, all those hard-working Kansans, are out of luck.

Veterans and other hard-working Kansans should be getting the health care they deserve, not being held hostage to Sam Brownback’s political agenda.


*Since the start of the war in Iraq through 2006, Brownback voted against increased funding for veterans health care, including mental health care for returning troops, at least 13 times. (Vote #55, 3/16/05; Vote #89, 4/12/05; Vote #90,4/12/05; Vote #242, 9/22/05; Vote #251, 10/5/05; Vote #343, 11/17/05; Vote #7, 2/2/06; Vote #15, 2/13/06; Vote #41, 2/14/06; Vote #63, 3/16/06; Vote #67, 3/16/06; Vote #40, 3/10/04; Vote #74, 3/21/03)

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