Affordable Care Act

Misha Popovikj / flickr Creative Commons

Three of Kansas’ four members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a budget resolution late last week that paves the way for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Lynn Jenkins joined Kevin Yoder and Roger Marshall in voting for the resolution that will allow the Republican-led Congress to start erasing major parts of the health reform law.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, didn’t vote.

Marshall says Republicans are eager to take Obamacare off the books.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

President-elect Donald Trump is planning to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act within the first 100 days of his administration, a move that will most likely stop efforts to expand the federal Medicaid program. The decision to expand or not was left up to state legislatures, and so far, Kansas lawmakers have chosen not to expand the state's privatized Medicaid program known as KanCare.

healthcare.gov

Obamacare enrollment is up over last year across the country but not in Kansas.

The deadline for selecting Obamacare coverage that kicks in at the start of the new year just passed. And so far, nearly 6.5 million Americans have selected marketplace plans – an increase of 400,000 over last year.

But enrollment is down by more than 10,000 here in Kansas, where consumers have fewer coverage options to select from. About 73,000 Kansans have enrolled in Obamacare plans compared to nearly 85,000 at this time last year.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

A task force chaired by Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to address problems in rural health care determined that expanding telemedicine, addressing workforce shortages and giving providers more flexibility were key to Kansas’ future.

The Rural Health Working Group wrapped up a year of meetings Tuesday and is now compiling a set of recommendations to present to the Legislature ahead of the session that begins Jan. 9.

healthcare.gov

Close to 25,000 Kansans have signed up for health insurance through the online marketplace, despite uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act under a new administration.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service reported Wednesday that 24,778 people in Kansas had signed up for insurance since open enrollment for 2017 started Nov. 1. The number of people seeking insurance was up less than 2 percent compared to the same period during open enrollment last year.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Last week’s election results stunned a lot of people who get health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress say they want to scrap the law, but what might replace it remains unknown.

That has left many Kansas and Missouri families in limbo, unsure what will become of their medical care.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A panel tasked with finding “Kansas solutions” for health care delivery problems in rural Kansas turned its attention to behavioral health Tuesday.

At a meeting in Larned, Eric Van Allen told the Rural Health Working Group that Kansas spends about $400 million annually on behavioral health — including roughly $175 million through the Medicaid program.

Subconsci Productions / flickr Creative Commons

Health care costs under the Affordable Care Act are up this year in Kansas—for some plans, it’s by nearly 50 percent. But many customers aren't expected to feel that impact.

A new analysis prepared for the Associated Press shows premiums will increase by as much as 46 percent.

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.”

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says rural Americans are gaining health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act at rates outpacing their urban counterparts.

Mark Andes was living and working in McPherson last year when he began having some pretty scary symptoms.

“I was getting dizzy, and falling to my left, and started getting weak," he says. "I couldn’t even hardly tear a piece of paper.”

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