Archive for Monday, April 2, 2012

Statehouse Live: Democrats say ‘carve out’ issue on developmentally disabled and KanCare won’t go away

April 2, 2012, 11:04 a.m. Updated April 2, 2012, 1:44 p.m.


— Democratic legislative leaders said Monday they still believe there is a chance to maintain the current system of assistance for people with developmental disabilities and prevent it from becoming part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to contract with insurance companies to manage Medicaid.

“The carve-out issue is not going away,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.

“Carve-out” refers to efforts by advocates for people with developmental disabilities to be removed from the Medicaid privatization plan, which would be called KanCare.

Brownback wants to contract with private insurance companies to handle the state’s $2.9 billion Medicaid program that covers health care for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Last week, Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, tried to take a bill forming a KanCare legislative oversight committee and make an amendment to remove people with developmental disabilities from KanCare and maintain their current network.

Advocates of people with developmental disabilities have pleaded with Brownback to leave them alone, saying that their needs don’t fit the managed care system proposed under KanCare.

But Brownback, a Republican, has rejected those pleas and promised that services will improve under KanCare and cost less.

A bi-partisan group of legislators spoke in support of Ward’s amendment. But Brownback’s allies in the House managed to have the entire bill sent back to committee before a vote could be taken on Ward’s amendment.

The procedural move, however, won’t make the issue disappear, Democrats said.

“I still think there is a majority in the House to carve out the developmentally disabled portion of KanCare,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. “There is broad support for doing that across the political spectrum,” he said.

Davis said Brownback administration officials worked on House members to stop Ward’s amendment. He said many of those officials were at another meeting related to KanCare and got messages to quickly get to the House.

The bill was sent back to committee on a 69-54 vote with only Republicans voting to send it back. But Davis said he thought some Republicans who supported Ward’s amendment also voted to send it back to committee to align with GOP leaders on a procedural move.

The Legislature convenes its wrap-up session on April 25 with numerous big issues still unresolved, including the budget, proposed tax cuts, redistricting and school finance.

Hensley said the opportunity for another debate on removing people with developmental disabilities from KanCare will arise again because many legislators are intent on approving the bill that sets up the oversight committee.


Mike Ford 2 years ago

gop plan....punish those who can't fight back......


mikekt 2 years ago

Complaining about Big Government is just a "libertarian businessman's excuse model" to advocate for huge private insurance co. rip offs of the public, that benefit a few at the top of these companies & their share holders. With private health insurance companies, they take their 7% profit cut off of the gross amount of what you & others pay, to afford medical care. The only ways that they make more money than that is either to save $ by denying you medical service coverages ( Private Death Panels that deny payments...YA..... that you pay for! ),... or if the general costs of heath care charged by providers goes up, in which case they profit by their boats floating up with the increases of medical costs. If the cost of health care goes up 50% next year, their profits should rise by about 50%,... not that their share holders will be offended by that, or that top managers who get performance bonuses ( for whatever predictably happens anyway ) will suffer. With health care in the US as the most expensive in the world but the quality of care delivered ranking 25th or so, maybe we should wake up. I recently priced a 64 slice CT Scan for my heart. It's a test that looks for & rates calcium deposits in ones coronary arteries as a predictor of future heart problems from blocked arteries. It was only $64, just east, down K10 & 7 a ways. Why so cheep? Because neither medicare... and thusly, neither private insurance, would pay for this test, that i am able to get done in a Cardiologists Private Offices, on an expensive CT Scan machine with operator with a reading of my results, for $64. You won't get that kind of cost, on any other CT Scan done privately, that insurance or medicare, etc., would pay for! Trust me.... cause i'm not running for anything! I was told that the provider was in a price war with a hospital on the south end of I-435 that was charging $72 for the service.....HA,HA,HA! Price war (?) when insurance of any kind pays like a clock???? Don't believe the idea that somehow the insurance companies are going to cut you some great deal to save Kansas money. They just want to saddle Kansans with their executives & shareholders retirement packages.


observant 2 years ago

Would any person with a functioning brain and any compassion believe any lie or claim brownie makes? Please understand that any GOP/Teabagger does not fit this definition.


Richard Heckler 2 years ago

Is Gov Sam Brownback a shareholder in the medical insurance industry?

Tax dollars would be spent on: Golden Parachutes exist Obscene CEO and BOD pay packages exist Shareholders exist the monster bureaucracy that over 2,000 insurance providers create exists * the cost of 6 lobbyists per elected official exists

  • corrupt political campaign spending against insurance reform exists such as: Former aides and elected officials spending $1.4 million a day fighting reform.

For example: A. B. C.

Healthcare Reform Report Card Let's Compare: Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All Vs. Proposed Healthcare “Private insurance with Public Option”


none2 2 years ago

I have to say that I do not understand why development disabilities should be taken out, but not the others. As someone who had to deal with two different people in the nursing homes, their needs were NOT identical. Both had to be somewhat customized.

I just find it difficult to understand why we are dividing people with needs into two different groups. I would think it makes sense to either have everything stay as is, or all move to privatized. To do otherwise sounds biased. Can someone explain how it is not?


BigDog 2 years ago

So since.most people ignored Scott Rothchild's article from yesterday .... it becomes a headline story online today?

Way to go LJ World .... maybe next headline can be something written by staff at another paper like Topeka from Sunday.


Kendall Simmons 2 years ago

I don't understand why the Governor still can't grasp that services for people with developmental disabilities isn't a "health" care issue.

Of course, he also thinks that turning Medicaid over to for-profit businesses is going to be "cheaper" and "save money".


Christine Anderson 2 years ago

I absolutely have to go with the Dems on this one.


BigDog 2 years ago

The carve out better pass by a large margin if it comes up for another vote because likely will be vetoed by Governor if wins on a close vote. Doubt it will be possible to get a 2/3 majority to overturn the veto.


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