State AARP Urges Brownback To Veto Health Compact Bill

Apr 16, 2014

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger joined representatives of AARP and other consumer groups at a Statehouse press conference urging Gov. Sam Brownback to veto a bill aimed at freeing Kansas and other states from federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations. Praeger said if Brownback signs the bill it could be a bad political move given the popularity of the Medicare program with Kansas seniors.
Credit Dave Ranney /

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, the Kansas state chapter of AARP, and several other groups are calling on Governor Sam Brownback to veto a bill authorizing Kansas’s membership in an interstate health care compact.

Bill supporters say the compact would free the state from the new Affordable Care Act rules and regulations and allow it to control Medicaid and Medicare spending within its borders.

But the AARP’s Maren Turner says turning Medicare over to state officials could jeopardize the benefits of the nearly 450,000 Kansas seniors enrolled in the health care program.

"Placing Medicare and other healthcare programs under the jurisdiction of the state is a bad idea," Turner says. "AARP is urgently urging the governor to veto house bill 2553."  

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer expressed support for the bill shortly after it passed.

However, he stopped short of promising that the governor would sign it.

Governor Brownback one more week to decide whether to sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

House Bill 2553 hinges on congressional approval, though. For that to happen, Republicans would need to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November. The president isn't required to approve federal compact laws.