Legislative Update 2/2/18 - Medicaid

1) KanCare 2.0

KanCare is the “not ready for prime time” reboot of the Kansas' privatized Medicaid program. It includes work requirements and lifetime limits on coverage, both of which KIFA strongly opposes. It also doesn't address some of the significant problems with the already-existing KanCare program. I refer you to last week's email for a fuller explanation.

Then-Gov. Brownback's administration applied to federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval of the new plan. We submitted comments opposing the application. Brownback then released a press statement saying that Kansas was postponing the implementation of KanCare 2.0. However, the application is still on the CMS website, so exactly what it is they're withdrawing or postponing isn't clear.

There's a bill in the legislature (SB 300) to postpone KanCare 2.0 pending legislative oversight. It had a hearing this week in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. KIFA submitted testimony in support of the bill.

2) Expansion:

There will be a hearing on Medicaid Expansion on February 14 in the Senate Health Committee. As we did last year, KIFA will be testifying in support of expansion.

The hearing isn't strictly necessary as there are already bills that have had hearings and could be moved to the floor any time. However, our allies in the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas believe that a hearing will help build momentum and public support for the bill.

However, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning has made it pretty clear that he has no intention of allowing a KanCare expansion bill to come to the floor. So when it does (and I think it will be when, not if) it will be through an amendment or some other legislative tactic.

There will be a call in day to Gov. Colyer on Wednesday, February 7 in support of KanCare expansion. The details on that are here.

We believe there will be a vote on Medicaid expansion this year, so it's really worth continuing to tell you legislator (and the new governor) that you support expanding KanCare.

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