Topeka The long-anticipated Medicaid reform package from Gov. Sam Brownback will be unveiled Tuesday.
“That is a big deal,” Brownback said. “We have worked months on it.”
Brownback has sought to reduce costs in the program that provides health care for nearly 350,000 Kansans, mostly children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Jointly financed by federal and state dollars, Medicaid costs $2.8 billion per year, with $1.1 billion coming from Kansas taxpayers.
Brownback put Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a physician and surgeon, in charge of trying to find ways to cut Medicaid expenses by $200 million to $400 million.
“Medicaid has been eating us alive,” Brownback said.
Some advocates have expressed concern that cuts will reduce services to the Kansans who are most vulnerable and poor, but Brownback and his staff have said they won’t reduce services.
Brownback said the state also will prepare a request for proposal to seek bids from companies for expanding managed care of the program.
The plan will be unveiled at a news conference with Brownback, Colyer and other members of a Cabinet working group. Those include Secretary of Aging Shawn Sullivan, Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser, and Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr.
Later Tuesday, another major initiative on Brownback’s plate, school finance, will be discussed at the State Board of Education.
Brownback’s policy director, Landon Fullmer, will talk with the board, but Brownback said no details of a plan would be discussed.
He said he hoped to have a full proposal ready in December.
In previous talks, Fullmer has said Brownback would propose a school finance plan that would allow local districts more authority to raise local taxes for education. Some school advocates say this will worsen funding inequities between wealthy and poor school districts.