May 13, 20147 | Bill Tracker
By: Dodie Wellshear, Government Relations Consultant
90 Days In
The 2017 Legislature has marked its 90th day, the length accorded to legislative sessions by Kansas Statute, and legislators still have the most important issues of the session to complete. In fact, the past week showed little progress on any of the major issues to be completed before legislators can adjourn the 2017 session.
KanCare Provider Cuts
A committee hearing on SB 94, which would restore the four-percent KanCare provider cuts of 2016 by increasing the privilege fees on HMOs, was cancelled Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. That committee held earlier hearings on a nearly identical bill, HB 2180, which was passed by the House before the early-April adjournment.
Early on, SB 94 and HB 2180 were mirror bills. The House passed HB 2180, which would have raised the HMO privilege fees to 5.77%. The Senate passed SB 94, but adjusted the fees down to 5.66% and changed the timeline a bit. Both bills propose dedicating the fee revenues to restoring the four-percent provider cuts and using remaining balances for other KanCare services.
Budget leaders last week indicated the matter will likely be taken up in the conference committee on HB 2079. That action should take place in the next week.
Family Doctor of the Day
Thank you to the following physicians, who donated their time and medical services to legislators and their staff over the last week: Dr. Belinda Vail, Kansas City; Dr. Melissa Rosso, Manhattan; Dr. Jenica Wessels Harwood, Salina; Dr. Tara Neil, Wichita; and, Dr. Sheryl Beard, Andover.
The services of all these are greatly appreciated by all those serving in the Legislature.