Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 1994


November 23, 1994


Lawrence's state senator predicts health care reform in the Legislature will focus on insurance changes and getting more people covered.

Sen. Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, has been named to co-chair a seven-member committee that will meet next week to draft recommendations on health care policy for Gov.-elect Bill Graves.

Praeger, who now chairs the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, will co-chair the transition health policy committee with Merrill Werts, a former state senator from Junction City.

Others on the committee include health care providers, a hospital administrator, and an insurance representative.

The group will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the state Capitol, Praeger said.

"We will talk about where we ought to be going and we'll make recommendations," Praeger said. "Our committee is interested in being able to measure quality and assure quality."

With Republicans in control in Congress, efforts to create a national health care system are expected to be toned down at the federal level, Praeger said.

"Certainly there won't be the same push for a dramatic overhaul," she said. "I think we'll continue with insurance reform and also, within the current framework, trying to get everybody covered."

Praeger said it was premature to speculate what health care policies Graves will want to push through the Kansas Legislature.

"I want to wait until we've had a chance to meet with the new administration and see what the governor wants to pursue," she said. "But I think quality assurance is going to be one of the issues we look at as well as insurance reform."

Praeger, who recently returned from Japan, where she was on a nine-day trip to study that country's health care system, said Japan has achieved universal health care coverage.

"They don't have the same quality as us and they know it," she said. "We have quality, but we don't have coverage for everyone."

Praeger said she was interested in a "hub hospital" concept the Japanese were using to make sure those in rural areas had access to health care.

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