As a gubernatorial candidate, Barnett advocated for "healthcare exchanges" which are eerily familiar to the Democrats plan to remake the American healthcare system. But after the election, Barnett went further, introducing a bill that would have mandated coverage for all Kansas citizens, regardless of their choice not to have coverage. Similar to the fines imposed by Washington Democrats, Barnett's plan would have authorized the state to garnish wages and tax refunds of those that refused to comply with the mandate. All of this coincided with a new, close friendship with his former opponent, Kathleen Sebelius. Barnett promoted and supported a plan with Sebelius that also would have also expanded state entitlement programs and imposed new mandates.
Surprisingly, Barnett denied he had anything to do with the 2007 bill, saying instead that the bill was introduced for "discussion" by the committee. Unfortunately for him, former State Senator Peggy Palmer, a member of the committee with Barnett and Huelskamp, recalls a different story. In a press release from the Huelskamp campaign today, Palmer stated, "I was there when Jim Barnett introduced SB 309 to mandate government approved health insurance on Kansans. His proposal would have created a quasi-state entity and added layer upon layer of massive new government mandates and bureaucracy."
During the state's last fiscal crisis, Jim Barnett voted in favor of the largest tax increase in the state's history. That was shortly after serving as President of the Emporia school board and not only voting in favor of, but crafting the strategy to sue the state of Kansas for more school funding. That was in the 1990's and the case would eventually become known as the Montoy case, resulting in over a billion dollars in court mandated state spending. And after having a conversion in 2006 to run for governor, Barnett quickly switched back to his liberal ways, patched things up with former opponent Kathleen Sebelius to advocate for his own little form of state run healthcare, and then stab his former running mate in the back to hand liberal leadership another four years in the state Senate.
Jim Barnett advocating for Obama style healthcare in Kansas is just the tip of the iceberg.
Hutch News - '07 health bill is campaign fodder
Kansas Liberty - First District candidate accuses fellow GOP candidate of aligning with ObamaCare