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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Republicans push through resolution opposing expansion of Medicaid

February 26, 2013

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— Republicans on a House committee Tuesday pushed through a resolution that says the Legislature does not want to expand Medicaid to upwards of 150,000 low-income Kansans under the federal Affordable Care Act.

State Rep. David Crum R-Augusta, urged his colleagues to vote for the resolution, saying that the expansion would cost too much.

"My feeling is at what point are we going to break the bank in Washington," Crum said.

But those opposing the resolution said that Medicaid expansion would help tens of thousands of Kansans get better health care and there was no need to adopt such a resolution without further study.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said there was a moral obligation to provide the opportunity for better health care, and whether people have Medicaid coverage or go uncovered and get treatment in an emergency room, taxpayers will pay for it.

"If we don't pay it on this end, we will pay it on the other end," Ballard said.

Supporters of the resolution said it would give Gov. Sam Brownback guidance on where the Legislature stands on the issue. Brownback, a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, has not said whether he would seek to expand Medicaid.

House Concurrent Resolution 5013 was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a voice vote. 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.

Numerous Kansas hospitals and health care providers had urged the committee to drop the resolution.

A statewide poll conducted on behalf of the Kansas Hospital Association found that 60 percent of Kansans support expanding Medicaid.

After learning that Medicaid expansion would bring $800 million in federal funds to Kansas over three years, 62 percent of Kansans supported the expansion.

The poll of 610 Kansans was conducted in December and has a plus or minus margin of error of four percent.

Comments

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 1 month ago

Last time I checked there were approximately 80 million uninsured or under insured Americans.

The right wing solution is to pretend there is no problem and to promote policies that continue to hurt average Americans in favor of a wealthy elite.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 1 month ago

By the same logic that is used by Kansas politicians to block Obama care, can/are we going to see an effort to deny emergency room care to the uninsured?

I am sure someone in the legislature will struggle with this because it does not fit into their simple minded view of the universe.

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notajayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

The problem everyone seems to be selectively blind to is that Obamacare PROMISES to pay for the expansion of Medicaid, but what they PROMISE and what they'll be ABLE to deliver might be two entirely different things.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/2013/02/15/cb9d56ac-779c-11e2-8f84-3e4b513b1a13_print.html

Not to mention people are discussiing this as if it's all some kind of "free money", that Kansans won't be paying for it because the money will be coming from the fed (at least at first, until the state is committed). I don't know about the rest of you, but some of us pay federal taxes, too.

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grandnanny 1 year, 1 month ago

For those who don't realize it, we are already paying for poor people to get health care at the emergency room, the most costly way to get health care. Emergency rooms are not meant for sore throats or ear aches, but if you don't have a primary care physician, that is where you go. If poor people could get Medicaid, they could go to one doctor like the rest of us do. They could get check-ups and routine physicals so that they would not have to use the emergency room. In the long run,the cost will be less, not more. Several Republican governors have realized this fact and have decided to expand Medicaid. Those states will be getting the money that our legislature turned down. Remember that this legislature wants fluoridation out of the water in Topeka because it is lowering their IQs. Too late.

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John McCoy 1 year, 1 month ago

When will Kansas stop bleeding?

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Alceste 1 year, 1 month ago

The Kansas Legislature approved the now most current way to spell the state's name: A-L-A-B-A-M-A . (M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I was a close second....).

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 1 month ago

Of course!! The Republican Terrorists got their butts kicked in the election. What better response to this telling fact than to oppose the black dude who is a non-citizen in the White House??

The Republican Terrorist Party in Kansas has made violating Federal Law an agenda.

Arn't you proud of your selection of these jerks???

You must be, you keep voting for these "conservative" facists.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 1 month ago

jafs says... That argument applies to any and all tax funded programs - do you oppose all of them?

Posting from a phone and it won't let me reply to you so I had to do a new post. To answer your question, no all do not oppose all tax funded programs. I support those that are for the public good. It doesn't matter if I participate or not only that I have the opportunity and am not excluded. Hence I oppose tax dollars that only benefit individuals at the exclusion of others including corporate subsidies.

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Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 1 month ago

Former Kansas Health Solutions exec sentenced to three years for Medicaid scam

he former chief financial officer for Kansas Health Solutions has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for his scheme to steal more than $2 million in Kansas Medicaid funds.

Jason Sellers, 44, of Lyndon, also was ordered to pay back more than $2 million. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom.

Federal prosecutors said Sellers diverted the Medicaid funds to a shell company, Advanced Business Consulting, while he was at Kansas Health Solutions. The sham company supposedly was providing information technology services. At the time, Kansas Health Solutions was under contract to administer the state's Medicaid payments to community mental health centers.

Prosecutors said Sellers used the stolen money to buy equipment and uniforms for youth sports teams he was involved with between 2007 and 2011 and also built and furnished a $375,000 home on 11 acres.

http://www.khi.org/news/2013/feb/05/former-kansas-health-solutions-exec-sentenced-thre/?print

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oldexbeat 1 year, 1 month ago

black guy wants the expansion -- kansas guys (rather brownback istan guys) against it. What ever IT is. simple fact. race blinds koch tea party. poor people are not fat bald white guys. (Not true, but believed). Therefore hurt poor people. It is OK. Go Sammy. Help the rich white folks.

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mikekt 1 year, 1 month ago

But wait !!!!!....there's more !!!!,......because when they're finished with the poor, .....they'll be coming for what's left ( by then ) ,......of the middle class !!!!

What would we ever do in Kansas, without our Kansas Chamber of Death and the Americans ( what Americans ? and why do these folks insist on high jacking the general title of every American,, for their own selfish ends ? ) FOR AN IMPOVERISHED DEATH FOR OTHERS .

The Kochs are like every other power mad dictators, that have ever walked the earth & shared it's air with the rest of us.

Eventually, like Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc.., ......they will turn on their own because that's what dictators always do !

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mikekt 1 year, 1 month ago

THE KANSAS "re" PUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE TEA PARTY DEATH PANNEL ......HAS SPOKEN AGAIN........ .............."DEATH TO THE POOR, WHO ARE OF A LESSER FINANCIAL MEANS, THAN WE ARE".

That is their "RECOMMENDATION" .

They just won't come out and say it........ because it sounds..... and is .....kind of tacky !

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James Nelson 1 year, 1 month ago

And just what did you expect from a bunch of selfish, greedy rich white guys?

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lawrenceloser 1 year, 1 month ago

I feel like we are governed by Nazis trying to tell you what to do with your life. What gives you the right Crum to decide my medical needs based on my circumstances?

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't support the expansion of Ks Medicaid. The federal government can and will set up exchanges and those who need this service can get it through the federal government. What difference should it make if you get the services from the federal exchange. They say they are going to cover that cost. I certainly wouldn't want to have to rely on the word of the federal government that they will continue to pay the state what they promise. The cost will skyrocket and the expansion of services will continue to grow. The cost to Kansans will force us to pull revenues from education, social services, and any other core state responsibilities to cover ever expanding healthcare services.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 1 month ago

Medicaid is a great idea as long as it costs "X" dollars. It might even be a good idea if it costs "2X" dollars. When it costs "5X" dollars, it becomes a bad idea and when it's "100X" dollars, it's pure folly.

Medicaid costs are expected to rise from 532 billion in 2010 to 932 billion in 2020.

We're already at "100X" if compared to costs going back in time, with expectations that future costs will be "200X" or more. No one is saying that providing better health care is a bad idea. But cost considerations must be part of the discussion.

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Centerville 1 year, 1 month ago

It's three years of the feds rounding up eveyone they can to get in on it, by hook or by crook. Then we're stuck with 90% of the new tab. With no cap on how high that will be.

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question4u 1 year, 1 month ago

None of the cost of expansion would be paid by the state for the first three years, then after that the state would pay only 10% of the cost. Nevertheless we are hearing from state legislators that Kansas can't afford it.

Clearly these legislators do not have confidence in Flim-Flam Sam's predictions of economic prosperity. Obviously they do not believe that the "shot in the arm" to the Kansas economy that Brownback promised is going to materialize in three years. They expect the state to be too poor to pay 10% of the costs of expanding Medicaid four years from now.

The emperor has no clothes, and even the blindest can see that – though they'll only admit it through their actions. Poor Kansas!

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Larry Sturm 1 year, 1 month ago

We have the most backward govenor and legislature in the country I hope that someday they will need some help and nobody will help them' just send the death panel to them.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Sam Brownback is on record as not supporting the medicaid plan and privatizing at every opportunity no matter the cost to taxpayers. Turning away federal tax dollars coming back to our communities is not too smart. Guess a lot of republicans are not too smart. They prefer to do what ALEC Brownback dictates. Again not too smart.

Privatization supports private insurers necessarily wasting health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay.

Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $400 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

Sam Brownback has no intention of reducing cost to anyone ....... but has every intention of increasing profits to the insurance industry. This matter is driven by ALEC and Sam Brownback is an ALEC junkie.

1

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

Here's something that Republican legislators who are so fascinated with lady parts should consider; without expansion of Medicaid or participation in the health exchange they can't control whether or not health insurance through the exchange will cover abortion.
One of those "unintended consequences", huh?

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Gotland 1 year, 1 month ago

Give free medical care to everyone or no one.

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verity 1 year, 1 month ago

Other Republican governors are dropping off the "oppose expansion of Medicare" list. They've seen the writing on the wall and/or the light of critical analyzation.

In Kansas the thinking apparatus is so twisted---

6

Kontum1972 1 year, 1 month ago

well folks they do not have a problem cutting seniors or other folks benefits....medical etc etc...they get carte blanc when they get sick...they get the best in services....and us common folks get the finger.

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James Nelson 1 year, 1 month ago

The almighty dollar has always meant much more and will continue to mean much more to Brownback and other far right republicans than seeing to it that the poor receive quality health care. It is wrong for them to claim the unemployed are just lazy and, therefore, unworthy when so many of them were laid off or denied jobs by the greedy, overpaid executives who control the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity. These organizations ONLY exist to promote the concept that the rich get richer and screw everybody else. How dare the average Kansas voter subscribe to these principles.

Brownback and his legislative buddies must be crushed. They have declared war upon the poor and middle classes and simply must pay for their selfishness at the next general election. KANSANS, STAND UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Catalano 1 year, 1 month ago

Being one of the 150,000 who would qualify for the medicaid expansion, I "feel" like I'm getting a really clear picture of how a death panel really works.

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bevy 1 year, 1 month ago

The New Republican Credo: If it helps the poor or the middle class - it's BAD! If it helps wealthy business owners (who can then hand out campaign contributions) - it's GOOD! So simple, any idiot can master it.

I fear the days of the true public servant are long behind us. Likewise the days of legislators with brains! Who does this moron think ends up paying for care for folks who go to the ER for things they could have handled with an office visit if they had health insurance!

I hope Sam will take his cue from the many other Repub. governors in Washington this week who have decided to do the right thing, even though it leaves a bad taste in their mouths.

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bigtoe 1 year, 1 month ago

"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 Kansas Medicaid program will be just fine and not a single one of those children and the others will lose their Medicaid coverage if Kansas does not agree to expand Medicaid, period, end of story. The 150,000 more people that aren't added to Medicaid will continue to get medical care at the same places they're getting that care right now.

And don't tell me they aren't getting medical care right now (free clinics, ER, etc.) because that's a lie.

0

Alyosha 1 year, 1 month ago

"My feeling is at what point are we going to break the bank in Washington,' Crum said."

  1. Rep. Crum should be more concerned with analytical thinking instead of what he "feels." Since when are feelings a sound basis for making public policy decisions?

  2. Rep. Crum is not a member of the United States Congress. His job is to participate in the creation sound public policy for Kansas, based on the values articulated in the Kansas Constitution, and let U.S. Representatives do their jobs.

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Eride 1 year, 1 month ago

Just like the 50+ million dollar grant to set-up an exchange... take a stance! It doesn't matter how irrational. It isn't like expanding Medicaid with 90% (100% for the first 3 years and then scaling down to 90%) of the cost paid for by the federal government will help Kansas. It isn't like the money the state of Kansas gives up to take a "stance" against the ACA won't just go to another state.

The federal government will spend that money, but instead of it being spent to the advantage of Kansans, it will be spent to the advantage of everyone OTHER than Kansans. I don't know about anyone else, but I am really ecstatic that when the federal government offers a handout to help our state reduce its massive healthcare costs due to the majority of the population lacking coverage that our fine, upstanding state legislators can take the hard stance that they would rather Kansans not have health coverage, even when the state doesn't have to pay for almost any of it! After all, isn't it more important to thumb our noses at Obama then to provide our poor with health coverage (or to just reduce the expense incurred by the state in providing medical care).

All to take a "stance."

1

Eride 1 year, 1 month ago

Just like the 50+ million dollar grant to set-up an exchange... take a stance! It doesn't matter how irrational. It isn't like expanding Medicaid with 90% (100% for the first 3 years and then scaling down to 90%) of the cost paid for by the federal government will help Kansas. It isn't like the money the state of Kansas gives up to take a "stance" against the ACA won't just go to another state.

The federal government will spend that money, but instead of it being spent to the advantage of Kansans, it will be spent to the advantage of everyone OTHER than Kansans. I don't know about anyone else, but I am really ecstatic that when the federal government offers a handout to help our state reduce its massive healthcare costs due to the majority of the population lacking coverage that our fine, upstanding state legislators can take the hard stance that they would rather Kansans not have health coverage, even when the state doesn't have to pay for almost any of it! After all, isn't it more important to thumb our noses at Obama then to provide our poor with health coverage (or to just reduce the expense incurred by the state in providing medical care).

All to take a "stance."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

This article is about the sequester, but it also addresses why ultra-conservatives would do away with things like Medicaid and other social safety-net programs altogether if they could. (And I don't think that ultra-conservatives would disagree with what he has to say about their motivations.)

Why Ultra-Conservatives Like the Sequester by George Lakoff

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/26

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 1 month ago

David Crum scores a perfect 100 from Americans For Prosperity on his "Positions on Conservative Issues" from the 2010 information on the internet.

This is the report card that matters in the Kansas Legislature these days and the path to greatness for Kansas politicians.

http://votesmart.org/interest-group/801/rating/5051

I just wonder if Mr. Crum actually read the bill before it was presented for a vote?

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