Kansas Common Sense

Dear Friend,                                                                 

Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” I hope you and your family are enjoying this holiday season. Robba and I wish you a Happy New Year and send you our best wishes for the year ahead. I hope the New Year brings a Congress better capable of working together for the well-being of our nation. This week, I spoke with Cathy Dawes at 1350 KMAN in Manhattan about my hopes for 2014 in Washington, D.C. Click here to listen to the full interview.

Thanks for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them.

Obamacare Exemptions and Delays Continue
The last couple of weeks have revealed additional evidence that Obamacare is unworkable. Last Thursday, the Administration announced that individuals with health insurance policies that were canceled because they did not comply with Obamacare’s requirements will be allowed to purchase catastrophic coverage polices – high deductible plans with limited benefits – in 2014. Additionally, these individuals will now also qualify for a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate to carry health insurance or pay a tax. Then this Monday, without any public announcement, the Administration extended the deadline to enroll in an Obamacare exchange plan by 24 hours.

The President continues to change this flawed health care law when it’s politically expedient, but without any input or action from Congress. Click here to watch me discuss these delays and changes, and the lack of input from the Senate with Ed Henry on Fox News Channel.

It is telling that the President now classifies his law as a “hardship” for many due to the cost increases it has triggered. The President’s decision to waive Obamacare rules for some while forcing others to purchase more expensive insurance products that they may not need or want is irrational. I am hopeful that President Obama will soon realize that we must work together in order to truly improve health care in our country – and it is becoming increasingly clear the Affordable Care Act is not the way to do it.

Waterville Listening Tour Stop
On Friday, I continued the Kansas Listening Tour with a Town Hall meeting at the historicWeaver Hotel in Waterville. Attendees shared their thoughts and concerns about a range of issues facing Kansas and our nation including the importance of finishing a Farm Bill, Obamacare and keeping rural communities alive and well. Thanks to Pam White, LueAnn Roepke and Sandy Harding of The Weaver Hotel for hosting us. Click here to see a photo from the Listening Tour stop.

Grandview Plaza Listening Tour Stop
On Saturday, I held my last Kansas Listening Tour stop of the week in Geary County at Stacy’s Restaurant in Grandview Plaza. Folks stopped by to discuss the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, veteran and military issues, my plan to improve health care in our country, the local water district, highway funding, and the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together. Thanks for the good dose of Kansas Common Sense and for the great breakfast served by Stacy’s Restaurant. Click here to see a photo from the stop in Grandview Plaza.

Again, I appreciate these opportunities to hear from Kansans. I have upcoming Listening Tour stops this Tuesday in WaKeeney at Western Cooperative Electric, next Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce in Salina, and next Friday in Beloit at the Municipal Building. You can find out more about these town hall meetings in the sidebar of this newsletter. As I continue to schedule Listening Tour stops, I look forward to hearing from folks across the state.

Kansas Listening Tour

Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 10:30 a.m.
Western Cooperative Electric

Thursday, Jan. 9 at 1:30 p.m.
Salina Chamber of Commerce

Friday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Veterans' Building

Friday, Jan. 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Municipal Building Trails Room

Thanks to Fall/Winter 2013 Interns
My own interest in public service was sparked by an internship for Kansas First District Congressman Keith Sebelius in 1974. As an intern, I had the chance to learn firsthand how a Congressional office operates and how the legislative process works.

I am proud to be able to offer this same opportunity in my Senate office today where I have interns year-round who have a unique opportunity to work closely with my staff on behalf of Kansans. Thanks to the fall/winter 2013 interns — Josh Allmayer, Tulane University Graduate; Annie Chestnut, Wheaton College Graduate; Braden Dreiling, Fort Hays State University Graduate; and Alex Jensen, University of Kansas Graduate and George Mason University School of Law Student — for all of your hard work. I wish you the best of luck as you pursue your dreams and begin your careers.

Applications are already being accepted for internships in my Washington, D.C., office for the summer 2014 term. Congressional internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in public service and have achieved academic excellence.

Honored to Serve You in Washington
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,


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