Payer Roundup—Kansas Medicaid expansion bill passes House, likely to stall in state Senate

Kansas Medicaid expansion bill passes House, likely to hit wall in Senate

A Medicaid expansion bill to expand the program to some 150,000 Kansas residents celebrated a win in the state House last week, but it is likely to see significant opposition in the GOP-backed Senate. 

Lawmakers could end up striking a deal in the Senate or the bill may be stalled due to a call for a wider study. Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Democrat, said that the future is unknown, but that expansion is a top priority of the governor and a majority of the legislature. 

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said that the biggest concern is how Medicaid expansion would affect the budget. In addition, he noted that once the state applies for expansion, the federal government has more control over state-run funds. (Wichita Eagle)

Wealth equates to better health in California

The wealthiest California counties correlated with the healthiest ones as well, according to a new study.

People living in the Bay Area, Napa Valley and Southern California were the healthiest while those in rural Northern California and along the Central Valley were the least healthy, according to research conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 

Marin County was deemed the healthiest in California and also claimed the highest median income in 2015 at $63,110. Lake County was deemed the least healthy county and had one of the lowest median incomes for 2015 at $29,955.

Specifically, 11% of Marin County residents and 18% of Lake County residents recorded being in poor or fair health in 2018. (Sacramento Bee)

Minnesota governor wants to reallocate $142M from reinsurance program

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz released a revised budget plan that includes taking $142 million from the state’s reinsurance plan and allocating it for general healthcare funding. Previously, the money was set aside to help keep healthcare costs down by giving insurers money to offset costs. 

Republican lawmakers are opposed to this move and pushing to continue the reinsurance program, insisting without it premiums will increase significantly.

Instead, Walz wants to put in place a 20% premium subsidy that is more targeted and allows the state to leverage the $90 million from the federal government spent on reinsurance. (Star Tribune)