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Kansas Moves Ahead with Health Reform

By Kelley Weiss


Kansas City, MO – Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill to move toward universal health coverage. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The Legislature is taking small steps towards ensuring that all Kansans have health care. The reform bill will give almost 25,000 working poor money to buy private health insurance, known as premium assistance. The governor is also commissioning the Kansas Health Policy Authority to come up with a road map for broad changes.

Megan Ingmire, spokeswoman with the Kansas Health Policy Authority, says premium assistance will give some of the state's uninsured options.

Megan Ingmire: "Now this is a small segment of the uninsured population in Kansas but the premium assistance program truly helps the neediest Kansas families."

Ingmire says there are about 300,000 uninsured across the state. She says the Health Authority will explore Medicaid reform proposals and health connector plans, similar to the program in Massachusetts. The plan is due back to the governor by November.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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