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Top Of The Morning News: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Children's Mercy Hospital
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Children's Mercy Hospital

Children's Mercy gets out of the HMO business, Kansas Dems seek to increase school funding & a bill could override Missouri governor's authority in creating a health care exchange: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Bill Seeks To Block Governor’s Authority In Health Exchange

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony today on legislation designed to block Governor Jay Nixon from creating a health insurance exchange.  The proposed exchange is part of the national health care law signed by President Obama nearly two years ago. Any state that doesn’t have one by 2014 will have one created for them by Washington.  The bill sponsored by GOP Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph would block the governor and any agency under his authority from creating an exchange by executive order.  Find out more here.

Children’s Mercy Sells HMO

Children’s Mercy Hospital is officially out of the Medicaid HMO business.  The hospital has finalized the sale of its non-profit plan to Coventry after more than a decade of operation.  Bob Finuf, vice president of Children’s Mercy, says the plan’s 200,000 enrollees living in Kansas and Missouri won’t see any major differences from the sale.  The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Finuf says Children’s will use a large part of the proceeds to better coordinate services for kids with Medicaid in the region and contract with Coventry to care for them.  Read more here.

Democrats Aim To Increase School Funding

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have unveiled a school funding plan as an alternative to the one introduced by Governor Sam Brownback.  The Democratic plan would increase school funding with the goal of restoring some of the cuts made in recent years. It would also provide about $45 million to help reduce local property taxes and increase education spending by $180 million over the next three years.  Find out more of the details here.





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