Kansas Panel Considers Expanding Medicaid

January 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

(AP) – A Kansas House committee is working on a proposal to expand the state’s Medicaid program to capture additional federal dollars promised by the federal health care overhaul.

The Vision 2020 Committee heard testimony Monday in favor of expanding Medicaid from the Kansas Hospital Association and the state’s largest health system, Via Christi.

Committee Chairman and Lawrence Republican Tom Sloan said a bill should be drafted within a few weeks.

The state’s $3 billion-a-year Medicaid program provides health coverage for the needy and disabled, but it doesn’t cover childless adults without disabilities.

The 2010 federal health care law promises to pay all of the cost of expanding Medicaid through 2016 and at least 90 percent after that. But many Kansas Republicans remain skeptical the federal government will keep its promises

Audit Shows Missouri Spending $385K Flying Commissioners to Meetings

January 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

(AP) – A state audit shows Missouri has spent $376,000 flying commissioners to meetings across the state.

A report released Monday by state Auditor Tom Schweich notes the state could have saved $294,000 reimbursing conservation and transportation commissioners for driving instead in 2012 and 2013.

The transportation and conservation departments responded in the audit that the flights are necessary to get commissioners to meetings in a timely manner.

The Department of Transportation plans to continue flying commissioners on state planes despite Schweich’s recommendation to drive.

The audit also notes the fleet of 19 planes is unnecessarily large and consequently is underused. The report notes Missouri’s six passenger planes on average were used to capacity only about 10 percent of the time they were available to fly.

Car Dealers Sue to Fight Electric Car Sales Tactic

January 23, 2015 - Leave a Response

(AP) — The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association is suing the state revenue department for allowing electric car maker Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers rather than using a dealership as a middleman.

The car dealers, including Reuther Ford Inc. and Osage Industries Inc., filed a lawsuit Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court claiming the department violated state law by licensing the California-based manufacturer as a franchise.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Michelle Gleba said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Car manufacturers typically provide cars to a franchised dealership to sell, but the department in 2013 licensed Tesla to sell its vehicles in a University City facility.

The lawsuit filed this week claims the department “created a non-level playing field where one entity – Tesla – is subject to preferential treatment and all bona fide dealers are discriminated against.”

The suit claims no other car manufacturer in Missouri has those powers.

The traditional dealer-franchise model for selling new cars, the lawsuit states, protects the consumer by providing a local point for test drives and service.

But Tesla said buying directly from the company eliminates an unnecessary intermediary.

The lawsuit is an attempt to “create a distribution monopoly that will decrease competition, hurt consumer choice, and limit economic investment in Missouri,” said Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of corporate and business development, in a written statement.

Tesla has come under fire before, both in Missouri and other states.

Lawmakers last year proposed failed legislation that would have banned Tesla from selling vehicles directly to consumers. The car maker has fought similar legislative battles in New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

Obama Calls for Day Care Expansion During Lawrence Stop

January 23, 2015 - Leave a Response

President Barack Obama called for a major expansion of daycare during a visit to the University of Kansas campus Thursday.

Obama called for adding 100 million more child to what he called “affordable high quality” day care.

He also proposed a tax credit for low income families of up to $3,000, per child, per year to support it.

“It is time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue. This is a family issue,” the President said.

The White House tipped its hand on the focus of the speech about an hour before the President made his remarks.

The President stopped at the Lawrence ahead Start Center at the Plymouth Congregational Church to visit with the staff and some of the 48 kids enrolled in the program there.

Obama told several thousand people at the Anschutz Pavilion on the KU campus how some of the children shouted’ ” I know you! I see you on TV!,” as they laughed.

The Presidential visit to Lawrence was the first time in more than100 years since a sitting President had visited the city. The last one came when William Howard Taft was in the White House.

This was the second stop on the Presidential post-State of the Union tour that took him to another conservative state, Idaho.

In his speech, the President repeated some of his claims from the Tuesday night Congressional address.

“So the verdict is in. Middle class economics works,” he declared.

The White House says Obama took the tour to conservative states to claim that his ideas about helping middle class, working families succeed everywhere in the nation, no matter what the political landscape.

“It’s going to make our economy strong, not just next year, of for a few years, but deep into the century ahead,” Obama said.

Cokethea Hill Appointed to KC Council

January 23, 2015 - Leave a Response

Neighborhood activist Cokethea Hill has been appointed to the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri.
She was appointed to the postThursday. She will fill out the remaining months of former Councilman Michael Brooks’ term. Brooks resigned Kate last year after being accused by a former aide of choking her. Brooks says that did not happen.
Hill was one of three finalists for the post.
The other finalists were Rianna Deslich and RuthTurner.
Hill will be sworn in on Wednesday January 28th.
She will serve until the new City Council takes over on August 1, 2015.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 103 other followers