Jim McLean

Contributing Reporter

Jim McLean, Executive Editor of KHI News Service, oversees the KHI News Service. From 2005 until 2013, McLean coordinated all communications activities at KHI as Vice President for Public Affairs. The position he now occupies was created as part of a strategic initiative to solidify the editorial and operational independence of the KHI News Service. Prior to coming to KHI, McLean had a distinguished career as a journalist, serving as the news director and Statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio and a managing editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal. During his more than 20 years in Kansas journalism, McLean won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Kansas Press Association, regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. In 1997, McLean and two Capital-Journal colleagues received the Burton W. Marvin News Enterprise Award from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism for a series of stories on the state’s business climate. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washburn University.


Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

A coalition of Kansas health care providers, business organizations and local governments is stepping up its lobbying campaign for Medicaid expansion.

Just this week the coalition has staged media conferences in Wichita and Manhattan to push for the expansion of KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

In Manhattan, business leaders made the economic case for expansion. Kristin Brighton chairs the board of the area chamber of commerce.


This year’s presidential race may be one for the history books. But it’s not the contest Kansas voters wanted.

When Republicans caucused in March, they overwhelmingly preferred Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over eventual nominee Donald Trump.

Kansas Democrats gave Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders one of his biggest primary victories: a 68 percent to 32 percent drubbing of Hillary Clinton.

Hannah Figgs-Hoard was among a group of Sanders supporters at a Topeka caucus site that literally overwhelmed Clinton’s smaller contingent.

Phil Cauthon for the KHI News Service

Kansas officials are hoping that a pilot program will help relieve pressure on the Osawatomie State Hospital. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, the program will provide “transitional care” to some patients being dismissed from the state’s largest mental health hospital.

Officials at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services say there are several patients at Osawatomie who are no longer a danger to themselves or others but who aren’t ready to live independently.

A task force appointed by Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says changes are needed to improve the revenue estimates used to build the state budget. But the top Democrat on the Senate’s budget-writing committee says the recommendations may have more to do with politics.

Retired Wichita advertising executive Sam Williams chaired the task force. He told reporters at a Statehouse news conference that the group’s sole aim was to retool a revenue estimating process that has been increasingly inaccurate in recent years.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas mental health providers say funding cuts and stalled contract negotiations with the state are hindering their ability to provide care.

They're sounding the alarm on how Medicaid rate cuts and contract disputes are affecting care.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says his support for Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t inconsistent with views on the racial issues that continue to divide America.

Brownback recently attended the opening ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He was invited because he co-sponsored the bill that created the museum as a member of the U.S. Senate.

Stephen Koranda

The State of Kansas will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the mother of a four-year-old boy who was beaten to death by his father shortly after leaving the state’s foster care system.

Most of the $412,000 settlement will be paid by TFI Family Services, which was one of the state’s foster care contractors at the time of child’s death in 2013.

Jim McLean

Former Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says Congress should fix problems with the Affordable Care Act, problems that are driving some insurance companies from the ACA marketplace.

“There're some things that could be done if we could get Congress to be willing to come to the table to try to solve problems," Praeger says. "That hasn’t really been the case now for a few years. But they could fix it.”

Photo by U.S. Census Bureau

The uninsured rates in Kansas and Missouri continue to drop.

But they’re declining faster in states that have expanded Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

New data out Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Kansas’ uninsured rate dropped to 9.1 percent in 2015, down from 10.2 percent the year before and 12.3 percent in 2013.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Kansas general election ballot is now set.

Officials in the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office late last week cleared the last hurdle to certifying the roster of candidates for the Nov. 8 election by granting presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request to change the person listed on the ballot as her vice presidential running mate.