Saying his goal is to ensure Kansans have access to affordable health insurance and medical care by 2010, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett outlined a plan that includes creating a one-stop shopping center for insurance coverage and reducing medical malpractice lawsuits.
Barnett, an Emporia physician and state senator challenging Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in the Nov. 7 general election, unveiled his “Kansas Health Connector” plan during a news conference earlier this week. A key part of the proposal is modeled in part on a universal health insurance plan adopted this year in Massachusetts.
His proposal would create a “quasi-state entity” through which most private insurance companies would sell health policies. Kansans would then purchase their policies through the “Connector,” paying their premiums to it.
“What this will create is an individual consumer driven marketplace for the purchase of health care insurance,” Barnett said during a news conference at a building being renovated for a new cancer center for the University of Kansas Hospital-Westwood Campus.
He said the plan would be “sort of like a stock exchange, a farmers market for health insurance.”
Barnett said his plan would allow individuals and companies to purchase policies with money that wouldn’t be taxed. The individuals would own the policy that they could take from job to job. He said the insurance companies would remain regulated by the Department of Insurance.
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