Archive for Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Kansans would receive health coverage under proposals, official says

70,000 Kansans would be added under federal plan

October 1, 2009


— Approximately 70,000 more Kansans could receive taxpayer-funded health coverage under reform proposals being worked on in Congress, according to a leading state health official.

But whether health reform would increase or decrease the cost to the state is still up in the air, said Andrew Allison, Kansas Health Policy Authority executive director.

“That’s very hard to pinpoint because there are so many variables at play,” Allison said.

The KHPA is tracking health care legislation in Congress to determine the impact any final bill would have on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.

In Kansas, Medicaid, which is funded through federal and state tax dollars, covers mostly children from low-income families, people with disabilities and senior citizens. SCHIP provides coverage for children from families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but still not enough to purchase private insurance.

Under a bill being considered by the Senate Finance Committee, an expansion of the income limits for Medicaid would bring more than 100,000 new Kansans into the program. But more than 40,000 children and some pregnant women would be shifted from Medicaid and SCHIP into private coverage through a proposed reformed marketplace with new federal tax subsidies.

Allison said, “On net, our best guess at this point is that the Medicaid program would grow by about 70,000 under the original” proposal made by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

That would be an increase of 25 percent from current enrollment in Medicaid and SCHIP.

Despite the increase in enrollment, state costs could actually go down, Allison said.

That is because under the various proposals, the federal government would pick up almost the entire cost of new people coming onto Medicaid, and there are provisions to save through reduced prescription drug costs and redirecting funds used to pay for the uninsured.

“Simple implementation of the Senate’s original draft would probably reduce state spending in the long run, but there’s a lot of turf to cover between now and the year 2014, when most of the reforms would take effect,” Allison said. “The question of whether they save money or cost money may well come down to a series of choices the state itself will have to make between now and then.”

Some have also argued that requiring everyone to have health insurance would reduce catastrophic health costs and emergency room treatment.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said at a recent KHPA board meeting, “We want people to get health care in the doctor’s office, not the emergency room.”


skinny 8 years, 1 month ago

What a joke!!

Government run Health Care at the taxpayers expense!

First it was food, then housing, now we are paying for their health insurance too. Next it will be transportation! When is it going to stop!!

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Dr. Adrian Rogers

skinny 8 years, 1 month ago

Congressman Rogers' makes his opening statement on Health Care reform legislation that is under debate in Congress. Congressman Rogers is dead on on this one!! I love this guy!!!

annemccracken 8 years, 1 month ago


Who is "their"? I work two jobs, go to school, volunteer at an elementry school here in Lawrence, pay taxes and still can not afford health care due to a pre-existing condition.

How much of the population do you really think strives for nothing more than living off of others?? I am by no means poor... and I dont live off of others in anyway but over $400 a month because I had cancer is not attainable. And I know people in their mid 20s who can not find insurance for under $150 a month.

Plus every third party acticle I have read says this will likely save us money over time. Right now when I visit a doctor they normally give me a huge discount (30% or more) because of how much not having to deal with ins. companies saves them.

This attitude of people believing that there are two segments of the population working against each other is ridiculous. I havent used the post office in years, I dont have any children in school but I still pay taxes to keep those Government run programs open. I dont whine about it or think you are stealing my money.

Get off the "poor, lazy people are trying to steal from me" kick and look at the facts.,8599,1926339,00.html

nytemayr 8 years, 1 month ago

Dear Skinny

The public healthcare option was removed from the pending legislation on Tuesday of this week. Under current Senate proposal, every American citizen will be required to "purchase" health insurance up to 13% of their income. Proverty is legally defined as income under $15,000 for individuals and $22,000 for a family of 4. 48 million American's don't have insurance. 36 million of these Americans are working.

Of the industrialized economy's the US is number 16 in life expectancy and has the highest cost for healthcare.

The Solution is obvious The Republican Healthcare plan

1) Get a job 2) Don't get sick 3) If you get sick play hurt or 4) Die quickly

After all Dr. Adrian Rogers you're right its their problem not yours.

Bud Stagg 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree that health care should be available to all. However, the solution is not to tax and spend. We also do not need another poorly run government agency to squander our tax money. The IRS, Welfare, medicare, etc are all very poorly run agencies. I do not want to fund another one.

annemccracken 8 years, 1 month ago

vanguard3 You're right, we should forget all about kids born into poverty. The fact that they were born into those circumstances is 100% their fault. Instead of helping them lets ignore them and let them die of malnutrition, be homeless or not treat any illness they may have. That will teach them to be poor.

How out of touch are you?!? Have you ever once ventured out of the middle suburbs? Did not think so.....

avoice 8 years, 1 month ago

You are spot-on, vanguard. And in the current economic situation, attempts to broaden the scope of social programs put a lot of lower-middle-class people in a situation they don't want -- the possibility of falling off into poverty themselves. These under-employed people simply want to be able to get and keep a job and fend for their own families, independent of foodstamps, WIC, medicaid, etc. A lot of Democrats seem to think that big corporations and wealthy individuals are going to pay for increases in social programs, but that is not the way it works. Every increase in taxes puts small businesses out of business, leaving the owners of those businesses and their former employees in the ranks of the poor. This is happening everywhere, every day right now. It does not put people in the mood to talk about health care reform that entails tax increases that will burden small businesses and create more poverty.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

And we would all wind up paying higher taxes. Well, except for the people who don't pay taxes.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

All of those against single payer are supporters of increased costs across the board. 70 years of proof is right before our eyes. Not only that these same people may well be health care profiteers such as Max Baucus and other legislators.

Our local shareholders as well.

Go To:

Politicians,medical insurance industry,the media and others opposed to practical,fiscally responsible,fiscally conservative and the most comprehensive medical insurance ever presented to consumers are playing the USA public for fools.

What increases the cost of medical insurance? high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of insurance: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes Politicians as shareholders:

What will HR 676 and ONLY HR 676 Eliminate? Go To: Eliminates high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of medical insurance: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars • Golden parachutes

*Eliminates Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy

Go To:

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life And Our Wallets!

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

How many of the vocal minority out there supporting the most expensive medical insurance in the world are employees and/or shareholders?

How many are receiving corrupt campaign dollars?

Some of our reps on all sides of the aisle say “Let's slow down a bit”. I say consumers have been waiting for more than 60 years for fiscal responsible medical insurance how much slower can it go?

What could possibly be more american? Providing americans with the choice of National Health Insurance. HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

Shouldn't taxpayers have the choice of Medicare Insurance For All? Absolutely!

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including: long term care such that cancer demands prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment palliative care long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Doctors for Single Payer

Unions for HR 676

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676

Health Care In the USA

Consumer Reports On Health Care

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

STACIE RITTER: Well, it’s a rather long one, so I’ll try to make it as brief as I can.

Our issues with insurance companies have been going on now for quite a while. It didn’t start with CIGNA, though, until April Fool’s Day of 2008. That’s when my husband’s employer switched insurers to CIGNA, which, again, as far as healthcare is concerned, you don’t have a choice. When your employer switches insurers, you get what they give you. And unfortunately, we were given CIGNA.

My girls are cancer survivors. They had pituitary and hypothalamus gland damage as a result of chemo and total body radiation to treat their cancer as part of the stem cell transplant that they had when they were four years old. And a lot of times when a child has that issue, they end up on growth hormone. Many years later, once the oncologist notices a—like a plateau in their growth, which mine did back in 2005, so she referred us to an endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, and he monitored them. And they didn’t start growth hormone until 2007. So that was two years of monitoring to make sure, you know, that it wasn’t just a little lax in their growth and that it was really a damaged pituitary and hypothalamus.

And once they started the growth hormone under our previous insurer, which was Aetna, they did very, very well. And so, our doctors said, well, then, that’s—their positive response to the medication is proof that it was damaged, then, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. So that was great, so we’ll continue to do this until their bones start to fuse and they no longer need growth hormone.

But unfortunately, CIGNA does not feel the same way that our previous insurer and our world-renowned expert doctor felt. So they claim to have had two endocrinologists look at our case, and both of their endocrinologists deemed that my girls just suffer from idiopathic short stature, which means short stature of unknown origin. But quite to the contrary, we know the origin. We have lots of documentation and proof of the origin.

AMY GOODMAN: And that was—you say that was the radiation that they were exposed to to deal with their rare cancer.

STACIE RITTER: Yes. And chemotherapies, too, are very toxic, and also depends on the child’s age at the time, and even the sex has a lot to do with it. So, the younger the child, especially under five, which mine were—they were four at the time—and the sex—females tend to suffer more damage than males for some reason from the total body radiation. Not all children with cancer have these kind of late-term effects. It’s only children who have had radiation to the brain area, which mine did.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, and once CIGNA denied you, how long did the appeals process go on for you to try to get them to reverse the decision? And what was happening in between the time that they denied you?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

It's never been about socialism,communism or choice.

It IS about money money money money money: • profits • high corporate salaries • media advertising budgets/profits over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes * Politicians as shareholders:

Orwell 8 years, 1 month ago

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Given at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC Thur, 3 Feb 94.

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

Orwell 8 years, 1 month ago

Glad your personal charity has solved the problem, and now nobody's dying for lack of medical care. Yeah, that's the ticket – prove to vanguard you're truly in need and ye shall be healed. Line forms on the right… the extreme right that thinks it's OK for everyone to pay for their highways and tanks, but not for children's medicine.

staff04 8 years, 1 month ago

Vanguard, if you think tort reform is going to cause malpractice insurers to lower their rates, thereby lowering the cost of health care...well, I think they are laughing at you.

Not to mention, if tort reform was so important to Republicans (as they claim now), why didn't they get it done when they had the majority? I'll give you a hint: it has something to do with the flow of money...

Orwell 8 years, 1 month ago

If your knowledge of me is as accurate and as well founded as the rest of your comments (i.e., not), everything becomes much clearer. This presumed omniscience of yours doesn't speak well for your emotional stability. Hope your own health care plan covers counseling.

G'night. Rest easy, knowing even you will be forgiven your hatred.

Sunny Parker 8 years, 1 month ago

It's called socialism!

Pay your own health insurance! I don't have anymore to give to you lazy worthless people who think the government (ME and my tax dollars) owe you something!

Take care of yourself!

annemccracken 8 years, 1 month ago

Vanguard3, While you were calling names, I was supervising children at a local school. Sorry I cant sit around all day and respond but I work two jobs and volunteer at a local school. My point is that I have worked in schools between here and East STL MO. I refuse to watch children suffer because their parents are idiots, I was in no way defending their parents.... But I guess that makes me a "McCrackhead". If you had children and couldnt take care of them, I can assure you I would not watch them die and attempt to place the blame so I didnt feel guilty. I believe in community and I would take them in as my own just like someone did for me. And because of fine Christians I am not repeating that cycle that started my life. Not everyone gets chances in life, I was born to drug dealing abusive parents. And I have never taken a cent from the state or federal government, I dont even claim charitable contributions on my taxes. But I was lucky enough to find a home in the church, and I can promise you that anyone against programs to help the poor has never watched a kid dig other kids school lunch trays out of the trash because he knew he wouldnt get anything to eat until the next school day. Do it ONCE and your life will be changed.

danemary 8 years, 1 month ago





nytemayr 8 years, 1 month ago

Vote for The Republican Healthcare plan

1) Get a Job 2) Don't get sick 3) If you get sick go to work or 4) die quickly

UfoPilot 8 years, 1 month ago

nytemayr (Anonymous) says… Vote for The Republican Healthcare plan

1) Get a Job 2) Don't get sick 3) If you get sick go to work or 4) die quickly



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