FRANKFORT, Ky- A bill to limit the number of Medicaid Managed Care Organizations in Kentucky has passed the Senate.
Senate Bill 30 would lower the number of MCOs from five to three.
Bill sponsor Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, says this will help save hospitals money and allow them to care for patients instead of dealing with administrative hurdles set by the for-profit companies.
While presenting the bill on the Senate floor he urged lawmakers to vote for the measure to help struggling rural hospitals and denounced the notion the governor should be able to decide how many companies the state contracts with.
“I don’t know how in the world we think executive privilege should trump the safety, health and welfare of our citizens cause that’s what we’re dealing with. There is an economy in health care in Kentucky, the urban people have it, you’ve got it good, the rural people we don’t. It’s a struggle each and every day,” Meredith said. “All I’m asking is just for one simple measure to reduce the bureaucracy to hopefully help them save themselves for another day, another week, another month, and I’m not sure even this is going to do it and this is just a start but it is a start. That’s why I don’t just ask you, I beg you to pass this bill.”
Opponents say they understand the frustrations with MCOs in the commonwealth but this bill is not the answer.
“My fear is this bill won’t fix those problems, you’ve heard about a lot of the problems in our health care systems right now, right now we only have 3 MCOs, I don’t think that just limiting the bill in statute to 3 MCOs solves those problems, what this does is ties the executive hands,” said Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville. “I’m not in favor of whether it’s two, three, four or five MCOs but we are tying the executive’s hands to a statute over an entire cabinet when I think we should be looking at it differently for the actual solution.”
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services did not take a stance on the bill when it was presented in committee.
The bill passed 29-7.