Officials In Kansas, Rhode Island Discuss Health Care Proposals

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The following summarizes recent newspaper coverage of health care proposals in Kansas and Rhode Island.

  • Kansas: The Kansas Health Policy Authority on Tuesday finalized recommendations intended to address the rising cost of health care, the Kansas City Star reports. According to the Star,the recommendations included "more modest ideas designed to tweak theexisting system rather than reinvent it," as the panel had discussedearlier. The recommendations include a statewide smoking ban; a50-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase; implementing a series oftechnical insurance changes to encourage better insurance rates forsmall businesses; extending an existing premium subsidy to morechildless adults; creating more incentives for cancer screenings;creating standardized insurance cards; extending dental coverage topregnant women; and promoting physical education and nutrition inschools. Another recommendation would establish an insurance mandatefor children if other efforts to enroll eligible children in existinghealth care programs are unsuccessful. The recommendations will bepresented to lawmakers next month (Klepper, Kansas City Star, 10/17).
  • Rhode Island: Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts (D) on Tuesday speaking at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus, called for changes to the state's health care system, including a requirement that all residents obtain health coverage, the Providence Journalreports. Under Roberts' plan, every resident would have some form ofinsurance based on a sliding income scale, and small businesses wouldhave the same insurance rates savings as large employers. She said thestate also would "work with insurance companies to make sure doctorsget paid to keep their patients healthy." According to the Journal,Roberts' plan would call on the health care industry to develop aninsurance system that guarantees access to primary care for allresidents and reduces uninsured residents' use of costly alternatives,such as emergency departments. Roberts said that her plan is not anofficial proposal for legislation and only is meant to start a debateon health reform, adding that she likely will file health carelegislation in the next session (Mooney, Providence Journal, 10/17).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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