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In State-of-the-State Speeches, Governors Present Healthcare Priorities

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, January 24, 2012

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)
"Medicaid spending continues to skyrocket, and it continues to place stress on funding for education, public safety, and other essential services. With additional funding cuts expected from the federal government, Kansas must transform Medicaid into a system that improves services while managing costs. Many states have made the choice to either kick people off Medicaid or pay doctors less. Neither of those choices provides better outcomes. Kansas has a better solution. (We) have produced a measured, innovative and compassionate proposal. Unlike the current one-size-fits-all system, we will offer all Kansans a choice of plans that best fit their needs.

"For years Medicaid was spread among several cabinet agencies. This year we will continue to make government smaller and better focused by consolidating multiple agencies into a restructured Department of Aging and Disability Services. By running government more efficiently and effectively, we can save money and provide better service."

Gov. Steven L. Beshear (D-Kentucky)
"A recent report from the Kentucky Department for Public Health showed that more Kentuckians die from prescription drug overdoses than from car accidents. Think about that: Our medicine cabinets are deadlier than our highways. My friends, this is a scourge. We have to stop it.

"In the last year, we persuaded Florida to begin shutting down its pill pipeline into Kentucky. We created an interstate task force with officials from Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia to
better identify those who exploit our borders in order to abuse, misuse or divert prescription
drugs.

And we've also strengthened our ability to identify irregular and improper prescribing habits through Kentucky's electronic monitoring system, called KASPER. But KASPER isn't as effective as it could be. During this session, you will be asked to consider a wide-ranging package of legislation designed to strengthen KASPER, including making participation mandatory, and cracking down on pill pushers in white coats and on pill mills in Kentucky."

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