A Kansas Senate health care task force released four proposals Thursday designed to reduce the costs of health care and expand access to it. This is seen by many lawmakers as the session's biggest challenge. The gauntlet was laid down with force by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius during her state-of-the-state address.
And lawmakers are doing something about it. Here are the proposals:
- Encourage the parents of eligible children to enroll in state-funded health care programs. Currently, some 71 percent of the children eligible for income-based programs don't participate.
- Use more tobacco settlement money for anti-tobacco programs.
- Require more newborn health screenings (right now, four screenings are required, the task force proposes 29)
- The "Connector": an ambitious plan to encourage the creation of health plans that belong to the person, not the employer, and that follow them when they change jobs. How this would work, who would pay what, and what the insurance companies would do, remains to be seen. But the Senate is serious about figuring it out.
Sen. Jim Barnett, an Emporia Republican, a physician and the chairman of the task force, said he wants to see action on health care legislation this session that will reduce costs and expand health care access to as many Kansans as possible.
“We believe it is very doable this session,” he said.
Posted by David Klepper