Archive for Monday, March 10, 2014

Capitol Report: Navigators, kindergarten

March 10, 2014


Navigator legislation moves forward

A bill requiring health insurance navigators under the Affordable Care Act to register and comply with numerous mandates is now headed to the full Senate.

Supporters of Senate Bill 362 say it will protect consumers as they deal with navigators who help enroll people into the ACA's health insurance marketplace.

"It gives consumers security by making sure that navigators have the appropriate background checks, so that the consumers can be assured that their identity is not going to get stolen, or there is not going to be any fraud involved," said state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Opponents of the bill say it's meant to make the job of navigators more difficult and is just another swipe at the ACA from Republicans.

The bill would provide "so many layers of regulations, so much cost on navigators, it's hard to imagine that very many people would want to do the job," said Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the Health Reform Resource Project.

Debate continues on all-day K

A committee studying whether to increase state funding to pay for all-day kindergarten heard contrasting views last week on whether it would help students.

Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute and a frequent critic of public schools, said that students in the 15 school districts in the state that don't provide all-day kindergarten do as well or better on state tests when they are in fourth-grade as students in districts that provide all-day kindergarten.

But state Rep. Sue Boldra, R-Hays, said 12 of those districts are extremely small and those children are getting more 1-on-1 instruction.

The committee is continuing its deliberations.

Quote of the week:

"Just as only the people of Kansas have the authority to change the standards in their constitution, the Supreme Court of Kansas has the final authority to determine adherence to the standards of the people's constitution." — Kansas Supreme Court 's decision last week on school finance.

What's next:

1:30 p.m. Monday — Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center annual report before House-Senate health committees, room 546-South.

3:30 p.m. Monday — Senate Ways and Means education subcommittee budget reports, room 546-South.

3:30 p.m. Monday — Hearing on House Bill 2744, providing insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder, before House Insurance Committee, room 152-South. Testimony from supporters of the bill.

9:30 a.m. Wednesday — Discussion and possible action on Senate Bill 211, changing the dates of municipal elections, room 159-South.

3:30 p.m. Wednesday — Hearing on House Bill 2607, establishing sales tax holiday for purchase of school supplies, before House Taxation Committee, room 582-North.

3:30 p.m. Wednesday — Hearing on House Bill 2744, providing insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder, before House Insurance Committee, room 152-South. Testimony from opponents of the bill.


Renee Patrick 4 years, 1 month ago

What about all those years when more than 30% of schools provided half day K and those kids didn't score as well in 3rd grade? Why did he pick 4th grade testing? A year after they have been tested for the first time and teachers can gear education toward gaps? Why only the most recent data from a very small group? Was it matched to similar districts with full day K? Just curious.

James Howlette 4 years, 1 month ago

He always picks the data that best matches his pre-conceived narrative. That's his job. Or rather the job of the numbers people who feed him the info. He just parrots it back.

Larry Sturm 4 years, 1 month ago

Does it tell us something about big schools that smaller school districts do better with more one on one teaching. I have never been a fan of big schools as to many kids fall thru the cracks.

James Howlette 4 years, 1 month ago

It also has to do with demographics. Big schools have more poor students, and poor students end up doing worse in school.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 1 month ago

When you call up your insurance agent do you bother to ask his or her "assistant" whether they are regulated before you give them all of your application information? Doubt it. Do you think the agent ran a background check? Doubt it. And when you sign on to a web site like Ehealthinsurance, who is policing that?

William Weissbeck 4 years, 1 month ago

Just noted on the agenda the House committee hearing regarding health insurance. Can you imagine people asking their state legislature to mandate that certain disorders be covered?

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