How they voted
Here’s how area legislators in the House voted on a proposal to increase funding by $1.2 million for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence
Tony Brown, D-Baldwin City
Paul Davis, D-Lawrence
Ann Mah, D-Topeka
Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence
Anthony Brown, R-Eudora
Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie
Topeka By a significant margin, the Kansas House on Monday approved funding an expansion of a health insurance program for children from working families.
The 75-48 vote for the $1.2 million appropriation came during early debate over the appropriations bill for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Supporters of the funding said it would provide health care to 8,000 children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.
“These are probably the most responsible people there are,” said state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita. He said the families targeted by the funding are those that don’t have insurance from work and must work several jobs to make ends meet.
But opponents said it would go toward families who could afford their own insurance but just weren’t good at managing their money.
Many of these families were buying cell phones and cable television while not purchasing health insurance, said state Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City.
“Let’s not subsidize Kansas families who can afford their own health insurance, who need to be properly budgeting,” Kelley said.
The funding would go toward the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
In Kansas, the SCHIP program has approximately 39,000 children, offering coverage for children in households with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty level, which is $42,408 per year for a family of four.
The measure approved by the House would provide the funding necessary to raise the income eligibility to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, which would make it approximately $53,000 per year. Premiums cost from $20 to $30 per month per household.
The additional funding would also draw down federal dollars for the program.