Kent Bush: Kansas Gov. Sebelius' speech avoided important issues

Kent Bush

The key to a successful plan in government is having a scapegoat.

When the plan is never enacted or, even worse, when it is enacted and fails, you have to have someone to blame.

Luckily, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has a Republican-led legislature to take the blame.

You have to love the "chicken in every pot" plan she proposed during her State of the State address Monday.

It sounds great.

But until someone writes the check, that's all it does.

Sebelius' speech, along with the Republican response, left me still searching for the anti-education politician. There has to be at least one or there is no way both sides of the aisle would continually profess the need for better schools and higher paid teachers.

There is no way I can allow myself to believe that they would pander to a group of people simply because they are active and vocal in elections and have the summers off to help with campaigns. (Sarcasm noted)

These speeches have to be a nightmare to prepare. You have to have something to say. You can't step behind the podium and say, "You know, things are going pretty well. I think we can cut a few expenses and make some minor changes and we'll be fine."

That just doesn't inspire voters - or contributors.

You have to have big plans.

But the "big plans" often fall outside the scope of government responsibility or are so expensive they seem absurd to even propose.

Does anyone disagree with the idea that health care in America is expensive?

Of course not.

But does anyone believe that getting the government involved is the answer?

Certainly, using public funds will help low income people and people between jobs have access to better health care. But people who already pay their own way will now pay more taxes in order to make that happen.

The issue Sebelius nimbly avoided - illegal immigration - has a major impact on those same health care costs. With Oklahoma and Colorado taking action against illegal immigration, if Kansas begins plans to provide health care for low-income people, expect the floodgates to open.

I have no problem with people from other countries seeing the benefits of American residency and wanting to come here. The problem is the unchecked millions of people who come illegally.

They use emergency rooms as family physicians and are a burden on the education system, as well.

Kansas has to address this issue if we expect any of the other proposals to be effective.

You can't have costs rising out of control while you pretend problems don't exist and expect to have better health care services and education programs.

Sebelius isn't the first governor to avoid hot topics so that their speech will be well received and she won't be the last.

The true test will be how the legislature moves on these issues and what she does with the bills they send her.