KCUR News
4:39 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

Brownback Seeks to Close Kansas Health Policy Authority

Salina, KS – Less than five years after it was created, the Kansas Health Policy Authority is on the chopping block. Governor Sam Brownback wants to abolish the agency, and merge its programs into the Department of Health and Environment.

The Brownback administration says doing so would save nearly $3 million dollars in administrative costs. With a budget of almost $1.5 billion, it's one of the largest operations in state government.

Connie Hubbell is a former member of the independent board that oversees the authority.

"The most important thing, I think as a large medicaid state agency, is trying to have a voice that represents the largest purchaser of health care - Medicaid - in our state," Hubbell says. "And so having it all under one umbrella for coordination, for management, and for sharing of information and data may be the best."

The move would give the governor more control over medicaid, which covers health care for the poor and disabled.