KCUR News
5:28 pm
Wed January 27, 2010

Senate Rejects Proposal To Restore Kansas Medicaid Cuts

Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Senate has rejected an attempt to restore 22 million dollars in Medicaid provider payments cut by Governor Mark Parkinson.

Republican Senator Jeff Colyer of Overland Park authored the proposal. He says the cuts cost the state 60 million dollars in federal matching funds and could hurt the availability of services.

On the Senate floor today, he told lawmakers they should restore the cuts while officials look for efficiencies and other ways for the Medicaid program to save money.

"We do have unpleasant choices, but this is the worst possible choice that we could make," Colyer said.

That argument didn't convince Senator Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat. She said it was about the state's bottom line.

"We still have 400 million more we have to find just to close the hole that we're already facing in the current budget," Kelly said. "If we pass this amendment, we're just making that hole deeper."

Governor Parkinson made the cut in December to help balance the state budget in the face of falling tax revenues.