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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Health care providers oppose Republican resolution to not expand Medicaid

February 22, 2013

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— Allowing more low-income people to get health coverage will save lives and boost the economy, health care providers said Friday as they urged legislators to reject a resolution that says Kansas isn't interested in expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

But several Republican legislators supported the resolution, saying Medicaid expansion would be too costly, drive up the federal deficit, and they expressed general displeasure with the ACA, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama and is known as Obamacare.

After the hearing, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said he would talk with fellow committee members to see if there was any interest in working further on House Concurrent Resolution 5013.

The measure indicates the Legislature's "intention not to expand Medicaid services in Kansas," under the ACA.

Currently, Medicaid provides health care coverage to about 380,000 Kansans. The largest portion of them — about 230,000 — are children. The rest are mostly lower-income, pregnant women, people with disabilities and elderly people. The $2.8 billion program is funded with federal and state dollars.

Medicaid in Kansas doesn’t cover low-income adults who don’t have children. And a nondisabled adult with children is eligible only if his or her income is below 32 percent of the poverty level, which is approximately $5,000 per year. That is about the most difficult eligibility level in the country.

But starting in 2014, the ACA creates an eligibility level of 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,415 per year for an individual and $26,344 per year for a family of three.

Estimates are that upwards of 150,000 more Kansans would be covered under the expansion. The federal government would pay all the costs of expansion for three years and then ratchet that down to 90 percent of the cost over the next several years.

The influx of dollars would help the economy, while getting early medical care to more Kansans, supporters of the ACA said.

But in bringing up the resolution, Rep. David Crum, R-Augusta, and chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said he feared the federal government would be unable to keep its funding commitment because of budget problems, which would leave states on the hook for paying for the coverage.

But the Kansas Hospital Association said that without expansion of Medicaid, community hospitals statewide will lose $1.3 billion over 10 years. That is because the ACA pays for the expansion by phasing out federal funding that currently reimburses hospitals for the care of uninsured patients.

Tom Bell, president and chief executive officer of the KHA, urged the committee to hold off on consideration of the resolution to allow legislators more time to study their options. "This is not a slam-dunk," he said.

Several opponents of the resolution said it didn't make sense for Kansas tax dollars to go to other states that were expanding Medicaid.

Karen Endicott-Coyan, advocacy director for Mercy Hospitals in southeast Kansas, said she wanted those tax dollars to help people in Kansas.

"Take a thoughtful and prayerful approach to this problem," she told the committee.

Comments

mikekt 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, the Republicans have always talked about the coming Federal Death Panels that would be in acted, if Obama Care became law .

Not to be outdone by the Federal Government, our state legislature appears to have some ideas of their own, as to who shall die and how to do it, by simply doing nothing at all.

Obviously, thou shall not kill !

But are you guilt of killing someone, if you simply choose to ignore them, on purpose,....because of the worship of an idea of how the world "should work", .....to death ?

Catalano 1 year, 10 months ago

Yep, I meet the poverty guidelines, am "elderly" (but too young for Medicare) so I guess the Republicans and Gov #heblowsalot are pretty much my own personal death panel if I get hit by a truck. And, to head of CantHaveItBothWays: yes, I have a job. A part-time job with no benefits. Took me a year to get that. Ever heard of age-discrimination? It's rampant in Lawrence. So please advise what I should do if I do get sick. Seriously. I want to know what I'm missing here.

Catalano 1 year, 10 months ago

THAT'S your answer? Come on, surely you can do better than that.

Catalano 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess you can't (do better than that). You know, there's a truck out there with YOUR name on it, too. It just hasn't hit you yet.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

Age discrimination is rampant everywhere. If you're over 50 and lose your job, you're pretty much screwed unless you've got enough savings to start your own business or retire early.

Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm around 50 and the guy that works next to me is 50 and our employer accommodates us and provides adequate training on new technology as it becomes necessary. He doesn't always treat the younger guys as well.

whateverittakes1 1 year, 10 months ago

Catalano, I hear you on the flagrant age discrimination taking place around the country, not just in Lawrence. It is an organized effort to make it so that elderly and near-elderly can't afford housing, and have to live outside in the elements so they freeze to death. That way, social security funding will be freed up for Congress to embezzle. No one is doing anything about it in the federal or state government because there is too much financial incentive for state and federal legislatures to do nothing. They want us dead because they want the social security we would leave behind. It is called eugenics by non-employment to get $$$$. It is an organized effort of the state and federal powers-that-be to hit the jackpot at our expense. That way, they will have us out of the way so we can't create more expenses for state and federal government. It is the beginning of the NWO effort to reduce the population by 90% so the very wealthy and powerful can eventually have their feudal system like they had during the Gilded Age, (about 1885-1929) but without the threat of a civil revolt by a mass of people that outnumber those who are living well at the expense of their slaves. And no, I am not imagining things. Do some real research about what the Illuminati are trying to do. It will scare the hell out of you.

Catalano 1 year, 10 months ago

I gave up on the NWO and Illuminati decades ago. I'm more into the conspiracy to "Reclaim the 7 Mountains of Influence in Culture...business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion". Sam's doing pretty good so far. OTOH, maybe the "reclaimers" are part of the Illuminati. I need a Venn diagram to keep up.

overthemoon 1 year, 10 months ago

mix that with ALEC and you've got a brew for third world theocratic corporate fascism.

Christine Anderson 1 year, 10 months ago

Whatever it takes, please get back on your meds.

ThePilgrim 1 year, 10 months ago

SS funds have already been embezzled by Congress

Larry Sturm 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas govenor and legislatiure is the Kansas death panel.

Bike_lover 1 year, 10 months ago

It's shameful that Kansas leadership is letting their hate for Obama deny those without health care a chance. States who don't feel the need to balance the Federal deficit will take care of their needly citizens with taxes from Kansas taxpayers.

Agriculture and Energy interests reap a Federal gravy train, but work in the state to leave those in need out.

Brendon Allen 1 year, 10 months ago

So as a subscriber to the Economist for 15 years your picking and choosing is amusing. On the whole they liked the reform but you would never get that from your comments. Though not perfect the ACA (thanks for calling it that by the way) is not bad but doesn't look at cost (as the Economist points out). So based on your objections the solution is to make the penalty higher so that it is punitive enough to be cheaper to provide benefits than pay the fine? I do like a flat rate plan that can be paid or subsidized by employers or tax deferred, kind of an all you can eat preventative care plan with insurance for catastrophic incidence. Employeer provided health care is broke when will people here realize what so many others have that a single payer solution, though it has issues, is far more cost effective?

Bike_lover 1 year, 10 months ago

Ever considered that people with better health are more able to make it to work? People who don't have to keep their incomes below $5,000 a year to qualify for health care will work if they can.

If you're poor and have a child with a serious health issue you can't afford to work with the ultra low incomes limits the state sets. Providing health care will free people from the bondage of the welfare system.

Other people who're chained to their jobs because they must have health care -a sick wife, child, chronic condition- will be able to go out, start their own businesses, be economicially "free" because they won't have to remain in jobs they don't like but offer benefits they could never afford on their own.

repaste 1 year, 10 months ago

And Menards can't come to Lawrence because Obama won. :-(

insidR 1 year, 10 months ago

P76, your facts about employers dropping health care coverage are interesting, but mostly bogus. Consider that prior to Obamacare employers were not required to provide health care coverage at all. Employers did so to attract and keep good employees. As health care insurance costs have gone up over the years (it started way before Obama) some employers have considered dropping this benefit. With lots of unemployed workers right now, they figure employees will just have to put up with it or be replaced. But now they can drop this benefit and shift the blame to Obama. How convenient.
By the way, I own a small business with less than 50 employees, so we are unaffected by Obamacare. We provide health care coverage for our employees and will continue to so we can keep good employees. It hurts me personally in the wallet, but it keeps them from being among the uninsured that drain public funds. If all employers acted responsibly we wouldn't need to have the government mandate it.

Brendon Allen 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks for some truth on this insidR. So many people saying I have to cut this and that for the ACA and are not even affected. but no one reads the details. it is not perfect but what legislation is to begin with? reform it, address cost and incentives that is how the system works. Papa John is so phony when he says he has to lay off people, maybe you should have treated your employees humanly to begin with? Or increase the cost of a pizza by 25 cents so your employees dont have to live in fear? but no have a party with Mitt in your 40 million dollar house and talk about how bad you have it.

LJD230 1 year, 10 months ago

Hospital are the greediest institutions in America. See the latest issue of Time Magazine. Steven Brill should win a Pulitzer for this story!

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/

Brendon Allen 1 year, 10 months ago

This is a great story. Everyone should read it and be pissed.

Paul Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey Scott. Try this instead..."Some Health care providers oppose Republican resolution to not expand Medicaid." SOME...not all as you insinuate.

Your headline is misleading and blatantly false. I know my three offices don't oppose the resolution. You are a liberal hack that can't figure out the difference between editorializing and just reporting the news.

srothschild 1 year, 10 months ago

The health care groups that testified at the hearing yesterday opposed the resolution. In addition there was written testimony from numerous hospitals, advocacy organizations and others in health care that opposed the resolution. The one person who testified in favor of the resolution was state Rep. David Crum, R-Augusta.

Paul Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Then say that the groups "there" oppose it. If you can't see the difference then you have no business getting paid. Bottom line is that you have a serious left slant and agenda. You've had it for years. You covered Gov Kitty's failures with it and you are perpetually in a state of aggression against the right. I have no respect for your lack of professionalism. I am neither a R or a D. I am a conservative who is watching the leftist and the irresponsible 'R's spend us into oblivion. I am the one who get's pidgeon-holed to pay for it as well being labeled 'rich'. You are simply a media cog that promotes the robbery.

srothschild 1 year, 10 months ago

Pork Ribs -- The story states what the resolution is about, what the background issue is about and what the opposing sides said it is about it. As far as writing `some groups' -- the story is written in the context of the hearing on the resolution. When Democrats or Republicans propose a bill in the Legislature, I'll write Democrats or Republicans spoke in favor of xyz. That doesn't mean every Democrat or Republican in the country is speaking in favor it.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

So, turns out you're wrong, Pork_ribs, despite your hyperbolic, insulting emotion-driven language.

As Mr. Rothschild explains, those who testified opposed the resolution. "Your" three offices might very well not oppose the resolution, but that claim is hard to evaluate since you provide no specifics and no evidence for your claim. Moreover, they (if they aren't only in your imagination) did not testify at the hearing Mr. Rothschild reported on.

I'm sure Mr. Rothschild has a far better understanding of the difference between editorializing and news reporting than you have an understanding between hyperbolic emotion driven insults and sound thinking and civil argumentation.

As an exercise, try to define "liberal" here for us. You use it as such a catch-all insult that it functions more like a guttural grunt, not the result of any kind of reasoned thinking.

Lastly, try educating yourself on the normal procedures at news organizations. It's highly unlikely that Mr. Rothschild wrote the headline for this story. That task falls to the copy desk, usually. So you can either alter your flawed beliefs in the face of facts, or add a whole new class of journalism professionals — copy editors — who are in on the fantasy conspiracy you see everywhere. I suggest the former.

Paul Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

They are MY three offices. I own them. SR has been spinning with a super Lib bias for years. He covered Gov. Kitty's failures and only chooses to write when he can slam the right. "Educating" myself? Who freakin cares? Either way...the paper is left and the writer is left. If you can't see that then you're the one who needs the education.

skinny 1 year, 10 months ago

Whatever happened to everyone paying their own way? What do you guys think they did 25, 50, 75 years ago?? Did you all not plan on turning 50? I worked two jobs for years and saved my money so I could retire at age 50 and never work again. I pay my health insurance out of pocket. Why do you think your neighbors should have to pay your way????

voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

What did people do 25 years ago? The same as now. What did people do 50 years ago? A large percentage of the elderly lived in dire poverty, dying of conditions that were readily treatable because they could not afford to pay for medical care out of their Social Security. That's why Medicare was introduced in 1965. What did people do 75 years ago? They died younger. I'm surprised, skinny, that even you would think that this sort of situation would be preferable.

If you can afford to be idle, bully for you. That doesn't make you a better person than those who work hard to support themselves and barely get by. If you can afford to pay for health insurance out of pocket, bully for you. All that proves is that you are in good health--a matter of luck rather than virtue.

Your lack of compassion for the less fortunate, skinny, does not speak well of you.

Dan Eyler 1 year, 10 months ago

So the federal government is nearly 17 trillion in debt. We are expected to believe that the corrupt and tyrannical leaders in Washington DC will stay solvent and continue to fund this program? We are expected to trust these corrupt leaders in Washington DC who never read the Affordable Healthcare Act, better know as Obamacare? Are we expected to trust the corrupt leaders who exempted themselves from the very healthcare law they passed? The Washington DC house of cards is going to come crashing down sooner than later and Kansas needs to distance themselves as much as possible from any further Washington DC promises. There is zero chance the funding for Obamacare will last and at that point the states will own this. Hell no to Medicaid expansion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, of course, the debt is entirely the fault of poor people in need of medical care. Surely there must be some final solution to this weight that's dragging the country down, right, KF? Good Christians like you need to keep fighting the good fight to rid this country of this scourge of folks undeserving of breathing the same air that you do.

Christine Anderson 1 year, 10 months ago

Okay skinny, let's have a chat, shall we? I for one had planned on working until I was 65 or 67. Well guess what-crap one could never have imagined often happens. For me, it means I am a non-smoker who has the very rare distinction of developing lung cancer. I will soon be having one lung removed, and yes, there are many people alive on one lung, but not working with full strength. When I read comments such as yours, there are words I want to use that would get this post deleted fast.. So you pulled off an economically admirable thing-good for you. Can you not concede it does not work that way for everyone? I am extremely grateful for Medicaid, and for the SSDI I will soon be receiving. Yes, grateful. If, as you say, my "neighbors" were not paying my way, there would be only one alternative-die. Let me guess, is that what you and those who think like you advocate for those of us who can no longer "pay our own way" ? You make me sicker than I already am. May you never, ever, find yourself in a position where you are on the other side of the coin. What would you do if you were hit with a medically catastrophic event, and could no longer pay those health insurance premiums out-of-pocket? Well??

Catalano 1 year, 10 months ago

There's a truck out there with Skinny's name on it, too. Sorry you got hit by yours so early. Good luck with your surgery and recovery.

People like Skinny and Can'tHave really don't get it. They'll come on here and bitch and moan, but when you put them to the test, they apparently don't want to publicly say "yeah, I really WOULD prefer that you just go ahead and die...I got mine, now go away."

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope everything goes well for you, misplacedcheesehead, on your surgery and recovery. If you need errands run while recuperating, please PM me.

ThePilgrim 1 year, 10 months ago

Brownback was going to make this announcement unilaterally, and wisely (wise as a fox) pushed it over to the Legislature where his cronies can push it through. No one is surprised that this is happening. Brownback's advisors have been quoted on this since Christmas.

ThePilgrim 1 year, 10 months ago

'One in five companies with fewer than 500 employees say they are “likely” or “very likely” to discontinue company-provided healthcare coverage within five years, a survey reveals. '

What we are seeing is the "401K" rules apply to company-provided medical insurance. Companies will push their employess over to the gov't plan. I expect us to be footing the entire bill on our medical coverage within ten years.

9070811 1 year, 10 months ago

Rejecting the funds does nothing for the federal deficit. That money ends up going to other states.

Dan Eyler 1 year, 10 months ago

Bozo, your name is so fitting. Address the issues. The whole attack on Christians approach is ignorant and clearly demonstrates your anger against Christians and anyone else who finds content through perseverance, self reliance and alternatives to government. How do we pay for something we have no money for? Why do we make promises we can't keep? You support those who know its going to fail. They exempted themselves but impose taxes on individuals and businesses to foot the bill. The same businesses that provide a job and the same individual who needs those jobs. Well that isn't working not because of selfish and greedy business owners, but because if they take on these new taxes they will be out of business and the individual out of a job. So now we have no jobs and no healthcare. Which do you prefer? Your argument seems to suggest you prefer both. You have put your support behind these politicians who passed Obamacare, putting you under the law but leaving themselves, their families, their friends, those who lobbied them, unions, they are all exempt from participating and paying for this law or having it imposed on them. Your such an easy mark Bozo. Somehow you believe in the end they will be there for you. You might as well put a gun to your head and do to yourself what they already have planned. They don't know you, they don't care about you, they did what was best for themselves, friends and family. Your friends in Washington did to you what you claim Topeka is doing. Explain to me the difference. I guess being screwed by a democrat makes you feel better right? You see your blind by welfare. I agree with you that there is way to much corporate welfare proposed by the republican establishment. But your problem is you really don't want that corporate welfare to go away. You just want the welfare for your cause. Both are equally destructive.

voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess, kansasfaithful, that you didn't absorb Christ's message: heal the sick, feed the hungry. Instead, you follow the false gospel of wealth. St. Paul warned about that: "People will love nothing but self and money; they will be boastful, arrogant, and abusive...They will love their pleasures more than their God. While preserving the outward form of religion, they are a standing denial of its power." (II Timothy 3:2, 4-5)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

I didn't attack Christians. I attacked your insistence on throwing poor, sick people out to the curb to die, while hiding behind supposed Christian ideals, my fellow bozo.

BTW, we have plenty of money. What we lack is the collective political will to spend it wisely, and your and others' belief in all your straw men arguments is the reason why.

rtwngr 1 year, 10 months ago

Healthcare provides my eye. KHA is a left wing organization that just represents state run hospitals much like a union. Heaven forbid they might have to stop charging 5$ for a box of tissue if you check into one of their facilities. They have no incentive to cut costs. All the see is the Obamacare is a cash cow and they need to be sucking on the udder. They are udderly ridiculous. Hahahahahaha!

Norm Jennings 1 year, 10 months ago

Dear Skinny, congratulations on being hardworking, brilliant, and rich.

There are plenty of your fellow citizens who have worked just as hard, exerted every neuron the good lord blessed them with, and compiled every nickel with sacrifice that they could...and still can't "pay their own way" as you say.

So let them do without healthcare for their inadequacy you say?

A number of responses come to mind here, but the obvious implications of your statement blatantly point out an inadequacy of humanity and/or Christianity which no retort of mine could exceed. I guess pity for your blinding self-love is about all I can offer.

Larry Sturm 1 year, 10 months ago

Republicans don't care about ordinary people all they care about is large corporations and their own pocketbooks.

Larry Sturm 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas is interested in healthcare it is the govenor and congress that is not interested they would rather see us die.

woodscolt 1 year, 10 months ago

The Flatlanders in our legislature are once again making themselves the laughing stock of the nation. How long can they continue to stick with their "look bad do the wrong thing" image. It will be accumulative and eventually they will have to go ahead and chew up that foot that is lodged in their mouths. By then, the jokes about Kansas will be rampant .

Richard Benson 1 year, 10 months ago

Apparently if you're not livin' it, you can't see it.

Especially if you have a Republican bent.

But better to see it late than never.

Welcome to the Brownback hellscape, heath care providers.

voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess we'll see whether the Kansas Legislature is really pro-life--that is, preserving life in the living--rather than simply anti-abortion.

texburgh 1 year, 10 months ago

If Kansas is to become the new Texas, we need to make sure we increase the percentage of residents without health coverage. By refusing to expand medicaid we will keep thousands of Kansans from getting insurance. As Sam says, "Look out Texas! Here comes Kansas!"

remember_username 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't believe that the right wing conservatives running Kansas intend to neglect-to-death those people and families that have a need for some form of community support - that is to obviously evil. It appears as if the intention is to push as many as possible out of Kansas to be supported by other states. This will lower the cost of social programs within the state allowing the state budget to be balanced even with lower taxes. In addition those states with liberal social support programs will have to spend more to assist these displaced Kansans resulting in a greater burden to those state budgets. Ultimately the right wing conservatives could claim that the finances of Kansas have been much improved with lower taxes and spending while those states with liberal governments are financially strained. Still evil - just not as obvious.

voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

Other countries, Canada for example, have reined in medical costs by doing exactly what you suggest, toe: they asked hospitals to charge less and drug manufacturers to charge less. They succeeded in covering the costs of medical care for more people for less money. Why is it, toe, that that solution hasn't been viable in the US? Because people like you keep imagining that the "free market" will "drive down costs over time." If you didn't deify the "free market" into an infallible, eternal truth, we could indeed have better health care at more reasonable cost, without depriving any of our citizens.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 10 months ago

Rick Scott of Florida = 7th GOP governor to sign on to medicaid after leading the charge to revolt against it.

JW1943 1 year, 10 months ago

Before Obamacare we had something like 35 million people with no health insurance - this is a national disgrace! Obviously the current system is BROKEN (unless of course you're wealthy, then there is no problem, right?). You have to make less than $5000 a year to be on Medicaid - what moron wrote this bill? (a group of cold-hearted Republicans who have plenty of money is most likely). It probably costs more than that to feed yourself a year let alone pay for rent, utilities, doctor's bills, dentist bills, prescriptions, & forget about owning a vehicle. The truth is most people are forced to move in with relatives, which can cause family problems, makes the poor person feel like they are worthless & being a hardship on their family (if they even have a family) , rips away whatever little dignity they have left. There actually are people in this state who are blind, cannot walk, cannot talk, these Republicans & Mr. Browneye should try living their lives for one month & they would quickly change their tunes! How about having the poor people making less than $5000 a month be in charge of telling Mr. Browneye & the Republicans in Topeka how much money they are allowed to have per year?!

Centerville 1 year, 10 months ago

Serves them right! Our fine young president told us that they do things like remove tonsils just to make more filthy money, so they can do things like fly somewhere on their private planes to play golf with other rich people. /channeling the determinedly mindless

akt2 1 year, 10 months ago

Insurance companies are still calling the shots. They have a nasty little thing called a prior authorization that they require for many drugs and procedures that have been prescribed by your MD. If the drug isn't on their formulary, or the procedure isn't deemed medically necessary, they will deny coverage. So you or your company are paying them thousands a year and they claim to know more about your health care diagnosis and plan than your doctor does. Even though you are nothing more than a number and a $ sign to them.

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