Congressional briefing: Pro-life group weighs in on Medicare bill
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(The Hill) Right to Life group seeks to bind lawmakers on Medicare: In the past year, a prominent pro-life group has launched a lobbying campaign to shore up congressional support for a controversial Medicare health plan, but so far appears to have gained little traction in the effort. Senators on the Finance Committee who oppose rights to abortion, euthanasia or assisted suicide say lobbying by the National Right to Life Committee has little -- if anything -- to do with their opposition to cutting a particular type of private health plan that provides benefits under Medicare Advantage. In the House, Democrats with similar principles had echoed the group's concerns before overwhelmingly voting for a bill the group strongly opposed. When senators return to Capitol Hill next week, rewriting the Medicare law will be high on the agenda of the Finance Committee. ... Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said he's wary of cutting Medicare Advantage but professed no group has contacted him about the issue. "The right-to-life thing hasn't played into it. It's just the value of the program" that motivates his support for Medicare Advantage, he said. Dating back to the 105th Congress, Roberts's voting record has a 100 percent score from the National Right to Life Committee.
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Roberts' listening tour makes stop in Wamego: Roberts began his laid-back meeting by criticizing President Bush over his veto of the SCHIP expansion. The program offers health insurance to low-income children who are just above the eligibility levels for Medicaid. "I think he made a big mistake," Roberts said of Bush. "I still don't think he knows what's in the bill." Marabelle Moege, a longtime Wamego resident and registered Reform Party voter, said before the talk she and Roberts, a Republican, agreed on immigration. "I don't like all the illegals, and I know he's against amnesty," she said. When Roberts came to immigration, he called it "a big challenge" and said some members of Congress "wanted an issue, not a bill" when they last took up a reform measure.
Rep. Dennis Moore (D)
(AP) House OKs Moore's gas safety bill: The House on Tuesday unanimously passed Rep. Dennis Moore's legislation to require that all portable gas containers be made with child-resistant caps. The Kansas Democrat says the measure will help prevent children from tragic accidents that result in severe burn injuries and deaths. The issue first came to Moore's attention after an incident in Leavenworth, Kan., where a 4-year-old boy opened and spilled a gas can near a hot water heater and the contents ignited. The boy died, and his 3-year-old brother was permanently scarred.
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