Thu March 28, 2013
Top Morning News 3.28.13
Signatures delivered to Brownback in support of Medicaid expansion; Wichita Senator says we must keep the sales tax rate as is; Study says medical costs could increase after overhaul.
Group Delivers 2,700 Signatures Asking Brownback To Expand Medicaid
Supporters of expanding Medicaid delivered nearly 3,000 signatures to Gov. Sam Brownback's office Wednesday, asking him to support an expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
Senator Donovan Says Canceling The Sales Tax Decrease Is Vital
Wichita Republican Les Donovan says canceling a scheduled decrease in the sales tax is vital to allowing future reductions in income tax rates.
Donovan defended the Senate's proposal to keep the sales tax at its current percent rate --6.3 percent-- as his chamber opened talks Wednesday with the House.
The tax is set to decline to its original rate of 5.7 percent in July.
Gov. Brownback and many GOP legislators want to balance their planned cuts in personal income tax rates by keeping the sales tax elevated. The House plan would drop the sales tax and cut income taxes less aggressively.
Senate Amends Reading Plan
Kansas senators have approved a heavily amended version of Gov. Sam Brownback's reading initiative, putting the focus on first graders.
Study: Kan. Could See Rise In Health Claims Cost
A national study has found that medical costs could increase for individual insurance policies under the federal health care overhaul.
The study by The Society of Actuaries says Kansas could see an increase of nearly 19 percent by 2017 in the claims costs faced by insurance companies from the state's individual health insurance market, where people buy coverage directly from insurers.
The nationwide claims cost increase forecast was nearly 32 percent, and many states' figures were much higher. Only 11 states had a lower percentage than Kansas.
The actuaries' study says costs will increase largely because sicker people will join the insurance pool as the law prohibits insurers from turning down people with pre-existing medical problems, starting in January.
The actuaries' report did not make estimates for employers' health plans, which cover most workers and their families.