Yet again, the Republican legislators elected from this section of the state are proving that they do not place their constituents' views above their own. Various polls have shown a majority of area residents as well as others across the state support the expansion of Medicaid. "Well, you can find a poll that shows anything you want." And so ... you can ignore any that show what you don't want? Apparently.
I recently participated in a 90-minute discussion with one of our elected designees. In that entire conversation, he did not — in my view — offer a single valid reason for his pivotal role in keeping the Medicaid expansion bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Or for his adamant opposition. A lot of clichés and a number of excuses, yes; logical, sensible and defensible reasons, not so much. The senator joked about how he originally voted "yes" to bring the bill out of committee but when he saw the reaction of others he knew he'd messed up and so he was allowed to change his vote to "correct his mistake." If he had not changed his vote, the bill would have come to the floor for a fair hearing and vote. (Of course, it's also true that if any other senator had voted in favor — and not changed the vote — it would have come out of committee.)
The senator claimed that when he first voted, he didn't realize what he was actually voting on. So, we have an elected official who votes without even knowing what he's voting on? How often does this happen, one wonders? On the one hand, knowing that our legislators are voting blindly might explain some of the legislative outcomes, but it certainly does not engender trust.
Once again, a minority of legislators have controlled the outcome of what some of us thought was supposed to be a democratic process. I guess it is routine to for both sides to use such maneuvering to keep the majority from voting in a way that represents the desires of the majority of the population. If that's the case, then it has become routine in this state to controvert democracy. If you're OK with that, it means that you got your way this time and that getting your way is more important to you than having a functionally democratic form of government in the state of Kansas.
— Doc Arnett, Arkansas City