Kansas To Opt Out Of Early Innovator Grant

Aug. 9, 2011, Topeka - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Lt. Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer announced today that the State of Kansas is returning its "early innovator" grant distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in February for early implementation of portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

"There is much uncertainty surrounding the ability of the federal government to meet it's already budgeted future spending obligations. Every state should be preparing for fewer federal resources, not more. To deal with that reality Kansas needs to maintain maximum flexibility. That requires freeing Kansas from the strings attached to the Early Innovator Grant," said Governor Brownback

"Federal Medicaid mandates have cost Kansans over 400 million in the past 2 years alone. Full implementation of the mandates in the President's health care law would cost billions more," said Dr. Colyer. "We will work to find innovative Kansas based solutions to Kansas challenges and be very selective in the federal funds the state applies for and receives.  We look forward to working with legislative leaders and Insurance Commissioner Praeger as we develop Kansas solutions."

Following Oklahoma's decision in April to opt out, Kansas is now the second state to opt out of Early Innovator Grant funding

"The early innovator grant does not address the most important issue in health reform, which is slowing the rate of cost growth in health care. Through the statewide Medicaid reform meetings, Kansas is taking the opportunity to decide for ourselves how best to provide health care access, improve outcomes and reduce costs for our state," said Dr. Robert Moser, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

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