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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 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

Elizabeth Patton presented testimony in opposition of SB252. She testified that Medicaid expansion increases costs to taxpayers, diverts funding away from health care for vulnerable Kansans, and crowds out resources for important public services. Nearly every state that has expanded Medicaid has seen costs increase far more than official estimates predicted. Pushing Kansans off private coverage and on to Medicaid will only make it more difficult for families to access basic medical care and Medicaid expansion's unsustainable costs will also crowd-out funding for important public services. (Attachment 1)

She took questions from committee members.

Kristi Brown testified as an opponent stating that the goals of saving rural hospital, improving mental health care, and ensuring that Kansas better cares for its fragile and disabled populations are not achieved with this bill and the possible unintended consequences are dire. (Attachment 2)

Questions were posed by committee members.

David Balat presented his testimony in opposition of SB252. As a healthcare executive, hospital administrator, and patient advocate, it is his contention that lawmakers at the federal level, have consistently conflated and confused health insurance with health care. He stated that health coverage is not care and that more Medicaid patients will not save hospital facilities that are struggling. (Attachment 3)

He answered questions from committee members.

Steve Snitz testified in opposition of SB252 stating that his organization does not support expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults. It would push tens of thousands off of private insurance and onto the government dole. SB252 is essentially the creation of another government entitlement program. He also stated that a decision to pass this bill would also be poorly timed as a federal lawsuit is once again threatening to derail Obamacare and replace it with important provisions that would create a true free market health care system. (Attachment 4)

Written only opponent testimony was submitted by:

Congressman Ron Estes (Attachment 5)

Chairman Suellentrop adjourned the meeting at 10:34 a.m. The next scheduled meeting is February 4, 2020.