Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Statehouse briefing: GOP health reform proposal sidetracked

March 28, 2007

Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) GOP health plan passed over: The centerpiece bill of the House GOP health care reform plan was bumped from the debate calendar Tuesday and referred to the Appropriations Committee. House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said it was his decision to call for the motion to refer the bill, which was passed out quickly last week in an Appropriations subcommittee and sped to the floor over protests from the Kansas Health Policy Authority. Asked if House substitute for Senate Bill 11 would be worked this session, Neufeld said: "Why don't we make that a guessing question." The 58-page bill had a long list of things the health policy authority would have been expected to do including seeking various federal waivers to be used toward accomplishing the bill's goal of creating a pilot program that essentially would have set the stage for privatizing the Medicaid program.

(AP) House GOP health plan would rely on private insurance: Kansas would move toward helping needy residents purchase private insurance rather than paying directly for their medical services and nursing home care under a sweeping plan drafted by House Republicans.

(LJW) Measure banning immigrant tuition fizzles: A bill that supporters said would prohibit illegal immigrants from getting state benefits, including in-state tuition, was dealt a major setback Tuesday.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) House may order Tiller charges: The House remained poised Tuesday to vote on a far-reaching resolution forcing Attorney General Paul Morrison to file criminal charges against a Wichita physician who performs abortions.

(LJW) Domestic registry prohibition appears dead: House Speaker Melvin Neufeld said Tuesday that a proposed ban on domestic partnership registries, like the one Lawrence is considering, is probably dead for the 2007 legislative session.

(AP) Senate endorses 4-percent pay hike: The Senate approved 4 percent pay raises for state employees Tuesday.

(Harris News Service) Funding measure aims to address enrollment spikes: The state Senate returned to a debate on school funding Tuesday after remaining largely silent on the issue this session. The chamber gave first-round approval to a bill that would provide additional aid to school districts that experience a spike in enrollment during a school year.

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