As the Kansas and Missouri legislatures head to a May adjournment, the activity has been fast and furious in April. Lawmakers are making their priorities known through both action and inaction on key issues. Here’s a synopsis of key legislation:
Medicaid Expansion Funding: The House stripped funding for Medicaid expansion earlier in the session, pinning our hopes on the Senate Appropriations Committee to reinstate the money before bringing it to the floor. Unfortunately, the amendment to do just that failed on a tie vote. While there could be an attempt to add the funding on the Senate floor, the prospect of passage is unlikely.
SB 1 FRA – Health Care Provider Tax: The provider tax legislation is necessary to remain in compliance with federal law so that federal Medicaid matching funds can be secured. An amendment has been added which jeopardizes compliance. Missouri risks more than $4 billion in MO HealthNet funding, which would have a devastating effect on the entire state budget. The amendment in question would prohibit using Medicaid funds for certain types of contraception.
HB 37 and HB 682 – Anti-Vaccination: These bills eliminate vaccination requirements for private school children and vastly expand the ability to obtain a vaccination exemption. There are several problematic provisions, all of which threaten herd immunity in Missouri. The legislation is expected to be debated on the House floor this week.
SB 212 – Anti-Vaccination: An amendment was attempted on the floor of the Kansas Senate to add the contents of SB 212 to an unrelated bill. The amendment would have removed the authority of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to add vaccines to the schedule, and replaced it with legislative approval. Nurture KC opposed this change as an infringement on an evidence-based process and transforming it into a political one. The amendment failed to be adopted, but serves as a warning that anti-vaccination legislation moves further through the legislative process each year.
Medicaid Expansion: Other than the introduction of legislation, there has been no movement on Medicaid expansion in Kansas, despite strong public opinion in support of the policy.
Executive Director, Nurture KC