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Minutes for SB252 - Committee on Public Health and Welfare

Short Title

Expanding medical assistance eligibility and implementing a health insurance plan reinsurance program.

Minutes Content for Fri, Jan 24, 2020

Chairman Suellentrop opened the second day of hearings on SB252 with proponent testimony.

Dr. Lynn Fisher testified as a proponent stating that a physician's obligation is to all fellow human beings, not just to those with the right insurance plan. The passage of SB252 would achieve a Kansas health care triple aim: better care for patients, improved outcomes, and lower costs.  (Attachment 1)

Sheriff Easter testified that the Kansas Sheriff's Association is a proponent of SB252. The language as written in SB252, Section 11 related to county sheriff's having access to Medicaid coverage for inmates is supported by the KSA. This provision would allow the county jail to leverage federal Medicaid dollars to reduce the costs to counties. (Attachment 2)

Cathy Bennett presented proponent testimony stating that SB252 would expand KanCare for thousands of Kansans, provide responsible, long-term funding strategies for Kansas and spur job growth in the state. (Attachment 3)

Kyle Kessler stated that all CMHCs support SB252 because of what it will mean to the improvement and sustainability of the system of care, which will be most beneficial to the Kansans that are treated and served every day. (Attachment 4)

Denise Cyzman testified in support of SB252 stating that allowing the more than 130,000 underserved but deserving Kansans to improve their health outcomes will result in healthier communities, a healthier work force, and an overall healthier state. (Attachment 5)

Rachelle Colombo testified that SB252 has the potential to cover uninsured, childless adults, many of whom are employed, or seeking employment. SB252 is a fiscally responsible approach to extending coverage to a large group of low-income, uninsured individuals.   (Attachment 6)

Melissa Dodge, as a single mom of four children, testified in support of SB252. Her employer does not offer health insurance for part-time workers, which is why she is uninsured and living in the KanCare Gap. She makes too much to qualify for Medicaid coverage, but not enough to qualify for assistance through the ACA marketplace exchange. Her lack of comprehensive physical and mental health care is a family need that is not being met. The consideration of SB252 by this committee is a pivotal step toward meeting that need. (Attachment 7)

Reverend Jenny Jackson testified on behalf of Reverend  Susan Candea as a proponent. She stated that the issue of access to affordable health care has long been an area of great concern for the faith community. Expansion is long overdue and consider Medicaid expansion Kansas' most pressing moral priority, and SB252 is the best way to move this policy forward.  (Attachment 8)

Deborah Barnes testified in support of SB252 which presents a platform for Medicaid expansion and provisions for an accompanying rural hospital transformation program. SB252 has the potential to make improvements in rural Kansas which will benefit all citizens in very practical ways.  (Attachment 9)

Questions were taken from committee members.

Chairman Suellentrop called attention to the written testimony submitted by:

Gary Plummer, Wichita Chamber of Commerce (Attachment 10)

Jon Hamdorf, Kansas Association of Medicaid Health Plans (Attachment 11)

Jeremy Deutsch, MD and Monica Bertagnolli MD, Kansas Society of Clinical Oncology and Association for Clinical Oncology (Attachment 12)

Joseph P. Rupnick, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (Attachment 13)

Audrey Hill, Saint Luke's Health System (Attachment 14)

Scott J. Schneider, Kansas Metro Business Healthcare Coalition (Attachment 15)

Chairman Suellentrop adjourned the meeting at 10:34 a.m. The next scheduled meeting is January 27, 2020.