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.
Kansas lawmakers have decided they need more information before making changes to the state's laws that restrict corporate farming.
A House committee decided Friday to have a judicial council review the corporate farming statute. A Senate committee, meanwhile, called for a review of the law before the 2014 legislative session.
Gov. Sam Brownback's administration has been pushing to roll back the state's decades-old limits on corporate involvement in farming. Some of the state's biggest agricultural interests, including the Kansas Farm Bureau, are supporting the effort.