Affordable Care Act

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City is leaving the federal insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. The move will affect 67,000 customers in Missouri and Kansas.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City will not sell insurance plans on the exchange starting in 2018 in its 30 county area in western Missouri plus Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. The company has lost $100 million on exchange plans.

Charlie Shields, CEO of Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City says the current debate about replacing the Affordable Care Act, has insurers really worried.

Kansas News Service/File photo

With a Monday deadline approaching, it isn’t clear whether all of the health insurance companies now participating in the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Kansas will continue in 2018.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state’s largest health insurer, has made a preliminary decision to continue and has filed initial paperwork with the Kansas Insurance Department, said Mary Beth Chambers, a company spokeswoman.

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Kansas is among the states with the highest number of adults who have pre-existing health conditions. Many of them could see higher health care costs if the bill to replace Obamacare is signed into law.

Kansas News Service

Renewed attention to the financial struggles of several Kansas hospitals is giving supporters of Medicaid expansion a potentially powerful argument as they work to build a veto-proof majority for a new bill.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated Tuesday at 10:41 a.m.

Buoyed by the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a Medicaid expansion bill in a 25-14 vote.

U.S. Congress

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people. It would no longer require that Americans buy health insurance, for instance, and it would eliminate current subsidies, replacing them with a fixed refundable tax credit. To help Americans understand where Congress stands on the debate over this legislation, NPR and Member stations around the country have compiled a database of Congressional members’ positions on the bill.

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Kansas lawmakers know they are late to the Medicaid expansion party, but they appear determined to show up anyway.

"I feel like now is as good a time as any," says Anthony Hensley, the leader of the Democratic minority in the state Senate.

For the past three years, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders were able to block debate on expanding health care for the disabled and working poor via Medicaid, a component of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Not anymore.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Kansas 2nd District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins was jeered Monday at a town hall meeting in Lawrence for defending President Donald Trump and the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Submitted

Kansas' newest member of Congress is at the center of the emerging Obamacare repeal-and-replace debate. Republican Roger Marshall – a doctor from Great Bend – is quick to call the health reform law a failure.

But the replacement bill that he supports – which was introduced this week – is drawing fire from both constituents and health policy researchers. 

The Republican majority in Congress is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Freshman Kansas 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall is on board. So he’s gathering input from constituents on how to proceed with repealing and replacing the ACA with what he calls needed “free-market reforms.”

The Great Bend Republican recently mailed a survey to 50,000 households in the Big First.

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