Daily Archives: June 30, 2013

Kansas, Brownback average on job creation

Gov. Sam Brownback ranks No. 25 among governors for jobs created in their states since they’ve been in office, the Wichita Business Journal reported. The rankings were based on private-sector employment, which has increased about 4 percent since Brownback took office in 2011. It’s debatable how much influence governors have on job creation. Several of the states leading in job creation, including No. 1 North Dakota and No. 2 Texas, are benefiting from a boom in energy production.

Raise child-care costs to encourage work?

To encourage poor people to work more, the Kansas Department for Children and Families wants to increase their cost of child care. Huh? DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, who chairs Gov. Sam Brownback’s task force on reducing childhood poverty, argues that increasing the co-pays would encourage parents – mostly single mothers – to work longer hours and pursue workplace promotions, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. “Encouraging full-time employment will reduce poverty,” Gilmore said. But Barry Feaker, executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission, noted that it doesn’t do much good to encourage the poor to get good jobs when those jobs aren’t available.

Providers concerned about KanCare

Steve Kelly, chief executive of Newton Medical Center, raised several concerns last week about KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid system. Kelly, who is chairman of the KanCare Advisory Council, told the Kansas Health Institute News Service that his hospital and Newton doctors and nursing homes were experiencing various problems, chief among them the amount of time it takes to get “prior authorizations” or approvals for patient services from the private insurance companies. Though it has improved, the lag in payments for services is also still a problem, he said. Larry Martin of Valley Falls, a representative for consumers on the advisory council, noted that payments from the insurance companies aren’t covering pharmacies’ costs for prescriptions. “That’s tough for the smaller pharmacies to absorb,” he said. “That could be a real problem in smaller, rural communities.” Meanwhile, the state has asked the federal government to allow KanCare to provide long-term care services to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities – a move that the I/DD community strongly opposes.

So they said

“Aye. I’m sorry, no.” – Sen. Jerry Moran (in photo), R-Kan., causing laughter on the Senate floor for his voting mishap on the immigration reform bill

“Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas can now argue on immigration that he was for it before he was against it.” – Ryan Teague Beckwith, politics editor at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, on Twitter

“Clever attempt to get nation to discover that there is a Sen. Moran.” – New Republic writer Alec MacGillis, on Twitter

“The idea of letting this administration define border security is like letting Bill Clinton define sexual relations.” – Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, to Politico

“It’s a free market out there. If they want to leave, they leave and somebody else is going to take their place. To say we need to compete with everybody else – I don’t buy that.” – House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, on the privately funded raises the Kansas Board of Regents just gave to university leaders

“With your help, we’re turning Kansas around.” – Gov. Sam Brownback, in a re-election fundraising letter to supporters