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Senators Question Officials On Governor's Medicaid Plan

Members of a Kansas Senate committee today questioned officials on Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to cut costs in the Kansas Medicaid system.

The governor’s plan would privatize the program. Medicaid recipients would be put in managed care programs run by health care companies.

Senator Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, pointed out that Oklahoma and Connecticut had tried managed care plans, but both later went back to state-run programs.

“Well, I think what they found was that they didn’t recognize the savings that they had anticipated,” said Kelly.  “And that they actually after much deliberation and study decided that they probably could do it better themselves.”

Kelly says she believes the Medicaid program does need reforms, but she isn’t convinced privatization is the way to do it.

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer told the committee that the only other ways to save money would be cutting people from the Medicaid rolls or reducing payments to doctors. He says the state wants to avoid either of those options.

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