Archive for Monday, June 13, 2011

Brownback announces public forums for input on Medicaid overhaul

June 13, 2011

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Medicaid forums

Topeka: Wednesday, June 22, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Kansas Expocentre, Maner Conference Center.

Wichita: Thursday, July 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.

Dodge City: Friday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at the United Wireless Arena, Magouirk Conference Center

Because of limited seating, the governor’s office has requested those wanting to attend to sign up on one of the following links:

Topeka: https://www.dhe.state.ks.us/Community/se.ashx?s=11B9BDC92B72B9B6

Wichita: https://www.dhe.state.ks.us/Community/se.ashx?s=11B9BDC93E4CE00F

Dodge City: https://www.dhe.state.ks.us/Community/se.ashx?s=11B9BDC91E57F2FF

People can also RSVP by contacting Alisha Kirby in the lieutenant governor’s office at (785) 296-2213 or by emailing rsvp@ks.gov. Please indicate which meeting by including the name of the city in the subject line.

— An overhaul by Gov. Sam Brownback of the $2.8 billion taxpayer-funded Medicaid program is in the works.

On Monday, Brownback’s point man on the effort, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, announced there will be three public forums on Medicaid, the first being next week in Topeka.

“It is essential to Governor Brownback and me that we receive guidance from Kansans while we work to reform our state’s Medicaid system,” Colyer said.

“These forums will provide Kansans from across the state the opportunity to give their input about health care in their communities. We look forward to working collaboratively with our fellow Kansans to find Kansas solutions for Kansas health care needs,” he said.

Medicaid is the federal-state funded program that provides health and long-term care services to several groups of low-income Kansans, including children, pregnant women, families, the elderly and those with disabilities.

The number of people served by Medicaid in Kansas has increased approximately 33 percent in the past decade to more than 300,000, or 12 percent of the state’s population.

Colyer is leading a Medicaid working group that includes Kansas Department on Aging Secretary Shawn Sullivan, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser, Budget Director Steve Anderson, and Kansas Health Policy Authority Director Andy Allison.

Moser, a physician, said the administration wants to make Medicaid more effective.

“This effort is not just about cost savings. The ability to more effectively purchase and administer health care builds a better Kansas with stronger families and a growing economy,” Moser said.

The meetings will be in Topeka on June 22, in Wichita on July 7 and in Dodge City on July 8.

The Medicaid working group will launch within a few weeks a Web-based tool for Kansans to submit comments and ideas. A final conference will take place in August.

The forums and consultation process are being funded by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas Health Foundation, the REACH Healthcare Foundation, the Sunflower Foundation, and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.

Comments

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

1:30 to 4:30. The link on the left has that info, but should probably be in the story.

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

Also, apparently you have to RSVP through the link on the left.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey, thanks. Not sure why, but I didn't pay the side-bar any attention.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess folks in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties don't have anything to say on the subject. I would guess that there are more people on medicaid in just one of those counties as compared to Dodge City's total population. I guess he thinks that all the citizens out west can drive into Dodge. Sam never seems want to go east fto get input from the citizens there because he won't like what they have to say.

situveux1 3 years, 10 months ago

You could say the same thing about people in Pittsburgh or Goodland. Not everything revolves around JoCo.

somedude20 3 years, 10 months ago

It is a long drive from Pittsburgh to Topeka and I do not know if the citizens of PA care what is going on in Kansas. Now Pittsburg Kansas would be a closer drive and they might care more

newmedia 3 years, 10 months ago

It's over for now. Make your private donation to the arts and experience that giving feeling!

Carol Bowen 3 years, 10 months ago

There should be a fact-finding mission before the discussion is open to opinions. Otherwise, no one knows what they are talking about.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 10 months ago

Wow, a 33% increase in the past decade. Anyone think that's sustainable?

Scott Drummond 3 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, that free market health care stuff sure is working well.

Resident10 3 years, 10 months ago

What are you talking about? CMS sets prices. There is very little free market pressure. It has more to do with how much money there is to go around and who controls it We have to keep all those Ortho surgeons fed, you know.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

The better question might be why has that number increased by that much, and what can be done do slow the rise.

plainspeaking 3 years, 10 months ago

The number of Kansans receiving Medicaid has increased because of: 1) an aging population; 2) a higher percentage of older people, particularly in rural areas; and 3) increasing cost of care, particularly in nursing homes.

Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years, 10 months ago

Medicaid = Poor people. Medicare = Old people. I think you're confusing the two.

Cindy Yulich 3 years, 10 months ago

Old people in nursing home = poor people = medicaid. Once the money runs out, and it doesn't take long, that's the reality.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Why is he spending the money to even bother with this? Other than his cherry picked and chosen respondents, he isn't going to pay attention to anything anybody has to say anyway.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

Brownback wants to turn everything over to corp america. This is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Oddly corp america is the greatest source of fraud.

Consider the following:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

"The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable -- publicly accountable -- health-care option," said Wendell Potter, who until early last year was vice president for corporate communications at the big insurer Cigna.

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

==============================

Paying More, Getting Less

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

By Joel A. Harrison Paying through the Taxman

The U.S. health insurance system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

From PBS and Bill Moyers http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

mloburgio 3 years, 10 months ago

Rep. Lynn Jenkins and the House Republicans in April 2011 makes radical changes to Medicare. The Republican plan raises costs for seniors and individuals with disabilities enrolled in Medicare, reduces their benefits, and puts private insurance companies in charge of the program. The Republican proposal would have adverse impacts on seniors and disabled individuals in the district who are currently enrolled in Medicare. It would: • Increase prescription drug costs for 9,300 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $92 million for drugs over the next decade. • Eliminate new preventive care benefits for 111,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district. The Republican proposal would have even greater impacts on individuals in the district age 54 and younger who are not currently enrolled in Medicare. It would: http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/medicare_2011/KS2.Jenkins.pdf

God Caught Backing Multiple Republican Presidential Candidates, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann have all said that God wants them to run for president.

westside_lawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

you bring up an interesting point, but discussion is about Medicaid, not Medicare.

Lawrence_Pilot 3 years, 10 months ago

I love how all the meetings are during the day on weekdays. That way, working stiffs on Medicaid can't make it there very easily. So typical of the politicians in this state to say they want input, but make it hard for anyone who isn't retired or a government worker to make it.

Lawrence_Pilot 3 years, 10 months ago

I love how all the meetings are during the day on weekdays. That way, working stiffs on Medicaid can't make it there very easily. So typical of the politicians in this state to say they want input, but make it hard for anyone who isn't retired or a government worker to make it.

Lawrence_Pilot 3 years, 10 months ago

I'd like to go, but I work in JoCo during the days and don't have a way to drive 90 min. just to comment.

How about this: What if the commenters all say, "Leave Medicaid as it is." Is that what Brownbutt will do then?

overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

He'll say 'Kansans overwhelmingly support dramatic overhaul and reduction in both medicare and and medicaid and would prefer a purely free market solution.'

Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 10 months ago

JUST KEEP POOR PEOPLE AWAY FROM MY PROFIT-DRIVEN PRIVATE INSURANCE!!!!!

Alceste 3 years, 10 months ago

I think the first thing the dopes could do is to process the applications for assistance on a timely basis rather than shoveling them into empty desk drawers.

Jimo 3 years, 10 months ago

“It is essential to Governor Brownback and me that we receive guidance from Kansans while we work to reform our state’s Medicaid system.”

Sam needs less guidance than he needs an Ayn Rand exorcism. Where's the bishop while this pseudo-Catholic perverts the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey Sam! FYI: a true 'public forum' would incorporate a web-site whereby the 'public' can get their thoughts and opinions aired without having to attend meetings in person and far from home. What a sham, Sam! Why do politicians make it so hard for citizens to get their voice heard?

http://lulzsecurity.com/

BigDog 3 years, 10 months ago

The Medicaid working group will launch within a few weeks a Web-based tool for Kansans to submit comments and ideas. A final conference will take place in August.

I would guess this is what you are asking for ...... read the article.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Ugh...I'm full of fail today...I swear, I read the article. Apologies to our muscular and righteous overlord.

persevering_gal 3 years, 10 months ago

Will it actually matter to Brownback what us Kansans think?

Jan Rolls 3 years, 10 months ago

Did you notice that you have to rsvp to attend? Once that get your name that will look it up to see if you have an r or d by your name. Want to bet no d's will get to ask a question.

Barry Watts 3 years, 10 months ago

Everybody is ripping on Brownback for supposedly "not listening" to what Kansas think... When Obama pushed through and passed a Healthcare bill that a majority of Americans DID NOT want. And he knew that ALL the poles said so. The majority of Kansas (by the way, they voted him into office) are supportive of Brownback's efforts. It is just that the majority of Kansas are not liberal idealists like that of Lawrence.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Any numbers on voter turnout in the election?

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

According to a quick google search, the election had about a 49% turnout.

So, even if 65% of those voted for Brownback, that would only represent about 2/3 of 50%, or about 33% of eligible voters.

Thus, a majority of eligible voters in KS did not vote for Brownback.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Not the point.

But, with 33% of eligible voters voting for him, it's not even a majority of eligible voters, and nothing like a "landslide".

"The majority of Kansas are supportive of Brownback's efforts" is thus highly debatable.

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 10 months ago

A big difference is that Obama's plan is to make sure everyone gets affordable health care. Brownback and the rest of the GOP are wanting to cut Medicaid and Medicare for that matter.

pace 3 years, 10 months ago

Brownback has his plan and mind made. He didn't even listen to the legislature, We are very important to him, important no one gets in his way.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 10 months ago

"The number of Kansans receiving Medicaid has increased because of: 1) an aging population; 2) a higher percentage of older people, particularly in rural areas; and 3) increasing cost of care, particularly in nursing homes." -plainspeaking

Plainspeaking, don't forget the increasing number of unemployed.

Haiku, Lawrencemom is right. Evidently you have not had the experience of caring for an elderly person. The general practice is that a person has a limited number of days in a nursing home paid by Medicare. Then, that person must spend down their assets until they qualify for Medicaid. Don't count on an inheritance. It doesn't work that way. It's sad to think that everything a person has worked hard for must be given up in the end. Look at what we have become.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Hospice can be paid by Medicaid and will not damage what the dying person has saved.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 10 months ago

I found out about hospice too late. The nursing home and doctors did not provide information. Not an uncommon experience from what I have heard.

tallgrassdave 3 years, 10 months ago

In as much as he didnt even consult County Commisioners in the Flint Hills, let alone the people who OWN the property before signing away their hopes of financial relief in the form of a Moratorium on Wind Power,,, I doubt he will even look at the suggestions! He has done what even Immenent Domain can not do, TAKE AWAY individual propety rights WITHOUT just compensation! His suggestion that the citizens of those counties look to HORSEBACK riding as a sure way out of economic depression is a slap in the face to the land owners in the Flint Hills! You BLEW IT SAM and I am pretty sure some folk are going to remember at the ballot box

Frightwig 3 years, 10 months ago

Kudos to Brownback for making these forums open to the public. Rather than making cuts, I think a lot of money could be saved by cracking-down hard on Medicaid fraud. I'm not sure what the statistics are in Kansas, but it's been out of control in other states. See this: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/18/nyregion/18medicaid.html

deec 3 years, 10 months ago

Interesting article. I found this paragraph particularly telling: "The lax regulation of the program did not come about by chance. Doctors, hospitals, health care unions and drug companies have long resisted attempts to increase the policing of Medicaid. The pharmaceutical industry, which has spent millions of dollars annually on political contributions and lobbying in Albany, has defeated several attempts to limit the drugs covered by Medicaid; other states have saved hundreds of millions of dollars annually with such restrictions. "

George_Braziller 3 years, 10 months ago

These pubic forums are a complete waste of time because the decision to make cuts has already been made. Case Mangers for the last three months have been adding a few hours per month to the plans of care (or person centered support plan depending on the waiver) just so when the cuts come people still have the basic supports they need.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

"you bring up an interesting point, but discussion is about Medicaid, not Medicare."

Wanna bet?

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