Susan Wagle on Health Care



Unconstitutional to ban church gatherings for coronavirus

A Republican-controlled panel of Kansas legislative leaders voted to overturn an executive order limiting attendance at church gatherings and funerals, igniting a fiery rebuke from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Kelly announced she was removing exemptions for churches and funerals from a statewide order that limits gatherings of more than 10 individuals. The Legislative Coordinating Council then voted 5-2 along party lines to rescind the governor's order. The action invited confusion about whether there is no longer a statewide ban on any kind of large public gathering.

Governors in 44 states have imposed similar restrictions on church attendance in the face of a deadly and contagious disease. But Republicans in Kansas complained that Kelly had overstepped her authority by restricting religious gatherings. "It appears to be out of line, extreme and clearly in violation, a blatant violation, of our fundamental rights," said Senate president Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal on 2020 Kansas Senate race , Apr 8, 2020

Bars Medicaid expansion without abortion restrictions

Wagle says she will not allow Medicaid expansion to pass through the Senate until her 'Value Them Both' bill has been passed. The bill would give the legislature the power to regulate abortion in the state. This comes after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled it was a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. The possible amendment passed through the Senate but failed in the House, needing four votes. As a result, Wagle has stopped all forward movement on Medicaid expansion.
Source: KSN Wichita NBC-TV on 2020 Kansas Senate race , Feb 11, 2020

Expanding Medicaid will break our back with debt

Wagle's meeting with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) offers some insight into her ideological positioning in the fight with Gov. Laura Kelly over Medicaid expansion. NFIB was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that resulted in a 2012 Supreme Court decision that found the federal government lacked the power to require states to expand Medicaid. The Kansas Legislature passed a law in 2014 to require the governor to obtain legislative approval before expanding.

Wagle was open to the idea of expansion in the past based on her family's own battles with cancer, but she's firmly set against it now because of concerns about the long-term costs. "It's going to break our back," Wagle said. "Health care is the primary driver of the debt at the federal level. And states are complaining to me that have passed expansion that they absolutely can't afford it. So we have to reform the system."

Source: Wichita Eagle on Kansas legislature voting record , Apr 17, 2019

Medicaid expansion is socialism

As Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly urges lawmakers to expand Medicaid, the state Senate's top Republican is opening the door to a health care bill that would include provisions favored by conservatives, such as work requirements. But Senate President Susan Wagle wants the Legislature to study expansion later this year and take up a bill in 2020. She made clear that--as far as she's concerned--a Medicaid expansion bill that passed the House last month won't survive the Senate. "The governor just called for the Senate to pass a bill that Bernie Sanders--a socialist--endorsed. And that's not going to happen in the Kansas Senate," Wagle said.

Kelly, who has made expansion her signature issue, said in the expansion debate the term "study" has come to mean "stall."

[Under Medicaid expansion], the federal government will pay for 90% of the cost. For a family of four, that's $35,535 a year. The state's share of the cost of expansion has been estimated between $34 million and $47 million a year.

Source: Wichita Eagle, "Medicaid," on 2020 Kansas Senatorial race , Apr 2, 2019

Insurers to provide real-time information of benefits

Legislative Summary: HB 2668: The bill states the people of Kansas all benefit if health plans were required to provide real-time Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) on request when a physician submits an electronic claim predetermination request.

Supporting statement in Missouri Medicine: High deductible plans and high co-insurance plans now dominate both the private sector plans and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange plans.˙Knowing the out of pocket costs of non-emergency health care services is part of the informed decision process between a physician and patient. Patients need to know the financial obligation they will incur as well as being able to have time and ability to satisfy it. Knowing what out of pocket expenses will be due is important in the rapidly changing health care environment.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 38-2-0 on 4/2/14; State Sen. Wagle voted YES; Passed House 97-27-1 on 5/2; Signed by Gov. Brownback on 5/12

Source: Missouri Medicine analysis of Kansas HB 2668 voting records , Apr 2, 2014

Other candidates on Health Care: Susan Wagle on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jan 21, 2021