Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger spent an hour Saturday morning explaining how the federal health care reforms will affect Kansans.
Individual mandates, lifetime limits, Medicaid and online “exchanges” highlighted Praeger’s discussion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. About 70 people attended the event, sponsored by the Douglas County Democratic Party.
Praeger answered questions about specific provisions and explained how Kansas has been working with the insurance industry to satisfy the law’s requirements.
Praeger acknowledged efforts in the state and on the federal level to repeal the reforms, but said “it’s important to keep moving forward on this. … If it changes, we’ll adjust.”
Following the talk, Praeger, a former Lawrence mayor, discussed some of the issues involved in implementing the new law.
Challenge of educating Kansans
“This is a very complicated law. It has a lot of pieces.”
Praeger’s suggestion to Kansans trying to dissect all the information: visit the Insurance Commission’s website at ksinsurance.org, which provides a breakdown of the law’s provisions. Also, attend events such as Saturday’s talk, where people have the opportunity to ask questions of public officials.
Who will be most affected by the law?
The 19-34 age group.
“I think there’s some real opportunities for affordable coverage that aren’t available right now.”
The individual mandate that would require the uninsured to buy health coverage.
“How do we encourage incentives for people to buy coverage? Because the whole goal here is to get as many people covered as possible.”
“It creates a lot more competition, a more competitive market because it standardizes the policies. … People can compare apples to apples when they’re looking at policies.”
Is the new law good for Kansans?
“I think in the long run, it’s a plus.”