Government

Kentucky's Medicaid Managed Care Organizations say they have fixed a number of issues with reimbursements to pharmacists.

CoventryCares, WellCare and Kentucky Spirit took over management of the state's Medicaid system last year. Since then, doctors and pharmacists have come forward to say the organizations are poorly managed and the reimbursements for care are too low.

Executives from the organizations told a legislative committee today that the early kinks have been worked out of the system. But there were pharmacists in attendance who disagreed.

Beshear Pushes Expanded Gaming

Feb 13, 2012

Governor Steve Beshear told business leaders today Kentucky needs to develop more revenue to dig out of the economic recession. He says one way to do that is by passing expanded gambling.

Beshear isn't giving up on an effort to get the public to vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow casinos at Kentucky horse tracks. Now that the filing deadline has passed for state legislative elections, Beshear expects the bill to be introduced in the next few days.

In a high tech world of iPads and smart phones, an old-fashioned Amish man showed that pen and paper remain effective communication devices.   Jacob Gingerich wrote 138 simple, heart-felt letters to lawmakers in Frankfort. The letters are being credited for the Senate's quick passage of a bill that would allow Kentucky's Amish residents to use reflective tape on their horse-drawn buggies instead of bright orange triangular signs that some object to on religious grounds.  The Mayfield resident used no computer, no letterhead, no printer and no copier.

Nearly all of Kentucky's state-level Republican lawmakers have signed a legal brief in support of a lawsuit challenging President Obama's health care overhaul.  State Representative Tim Moore says he's tired of sitting on the sidelines on what is perhaps the biggest issue facing the country.  More than 300 lawmakers from 17 states, including nearly 60 from Kentucky, signed a friend-of-the-court brief libertarian Cato Institute attorneys will file today with the U.S.

This week legislation has been flying around the house and senate in Frankfort, and somewhat surprisingly the house and senate came to an agreement on congressional districts. Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston speaks with Rick Howlett about the happenings in Kentucky’s State Capitol this week.

Here are a few stories Kenny covered this week:

After weeks of disagreement, new districts for Kentucky's six U.S. House seats will become law.

The issue appeared dead earlier this week when the state Senate was unable to approve a new map. But lawmakers rallied around a compromise plan last (Thursday) night.

Under the new plan, the Second District will lose some of its northern counties and stretch further east. And the Sixth District around Lexington will become safe for Congressman Ben Chandler as it sheds Republican counties.

Governor Steve Beshear says the problems with Kentucky s new Medicaid Managed Care system will be resolved.

Beshear pushed for the managed care system last year to take some of the administrative burden of Medicaid off of the state. But earlier this week, doctors, pharmacists and hospital officials told lawmakers there were significant problems with the system. Specifically, care providers are owed millions of dollars in claim payments and have struggled to get pre-authorizations for procedures and medications.

But the governor isn't surprised to hear about the problems.

A new map of Kentucky’s congressional districts is on the verge of becoming law.

State House Speaker Greg Stumbo declared congressional redistricting dead earlier this week, since it looked like both chambers could not agree on the new districts. But with the state Senate able to find enough votes to pass a compromise, a new map is in play.

Beshear Appoints Tax Reform Commission

Feb 10, 2012

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has appointed a 23-member ‘blue ribbon commission’ to study the state's tax system and propose a reform plan. The commission will be headed by Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson and will review the state's current tax system and make recommendations by November 15th. Beshear says the state needs to ensure it has a tax system that produces adequate revenue to meet Kentuckians’ needs. He also says tax revenue has been growing at a rate of 70 to 75 percent of the economy's growth and state government has cut spending by $1.3 billion.

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