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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 Wed, Jan 29, 2020

Chairman Suellentrop opened the fourth day of hearings on SB252 with testimony from opponents.

Nic Horton testified as an opponent to SB252. Having watched Medicaid expansion be debated, implemented and spiral out of control in his home state of Arkansas, he spoke of the problems that exist with Medicaid expansion. He said it closes a coverage gap that does not exist because there are jobs available in Kansas and that most of them offer health insurance. He also stated that SB252 will not promote work but contains an optional "work referral" component that is not serious. SB252 is not a "bipartisan compromise" or a workable alternative as a conservative version of this policy is simply not possible. He then stated that SB252 is not a silver bullet for hospitals and that Moody's Investor Service has concluded that expansion has no significant impact on the overall financial well-being of hospitals. He said SB252 will expand an already out of control program that is already failing the truly needy and that it is about increasing welfare dependency. (Attachment 1)

He took questions from the committee members.

Michael Austin presented opponent testimony to SB252. (Attachment 2) His opposition stems from the following positions:

  • There is no widespread public pressure for Medicaid Expansion
  • Medicaid Expansion creates unsustainable budgetary pressures
  • Medicaid Expansion is inefficient as roughly 80% of potential Kansas recipients have alternative health insurance options
  • Medicaid expansion doesn't improve health outcomes more than private health insurance options
  • Medicaid Expansion diverts state resources from those who genuinely need it
  • Medicaid Expansion will not "save" rural hospitals

Questions were posed to him by committee members.

Written opponent testimony was submitted by:

Congressman Roger Marshall (Attachment 3)

J. Dennis and Barbara Kriegshauser, Individuals (Attachment 4)

Chairman Suellentrop adjourned the meeting at 10:28 a.m. The next scheduled meeting is January 30, 2020.