The Kansas Department of Health and Environment sent a news release Friday to address concerns about the substitute in House bill 2183 regarding infectious and contagious diseases.
In the release, Kansas state epidemiologist Charles Hunt says recent media coverage has been based on a false premise and that "it is not and never was the state's intent to seek the authority for isolation or quarantine of persons related to HIV."
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.
Anna Lambertson is with a coalition of organizations pushing for Medicaid expansion. She spoke during a rally at the Statehouse.
“We could bring more health care related jobs to Kansas, and improve the health of our workforce," she said. "Healthy workers, as I’m sure you know already, mean a productive workforce. That’s good for our employers and for our state."
Hospitals in Kansas could lose some federal money if the state doesn't expand Medicaid services under the federal health care law. A lawmaker helping to draft the budget says the state needs to consider assisting those hospitals.
Many hospitals receive payments to help them cover the cost of medical care for the uninsured; they are known as disproportionate shared hospital payments. As the federal health care law continues, the focus will move to funding more Medicaid services, meaning the current disproportionate share funds could be reduced or completely eliminated.
The Kansas House has narrowly approved a change in how some state programs are funded. Certain programs receive money from docket fees paid in the court system, but a bill in the House would instead put that docket fee money in the state general fund.
The money from docket fees goes to 14 programs, including the state Trauma Fund and the Access to Justice Fund. Supporters of the change say the docket money should instead be put into the state general fund, where lawmakers could then appropriate it to the programs.