A new survey by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute shows stark differences between states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, and those—like Kansas and Missouri—that haven’t.

Researchers interviewed leaders of major hospital systems and safety net clinics in seven states--four that expanded Medicaid and three that didn’t.


Kansas health care providers are gearing up to fight the Medicaid cuts that Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered to balance the state budget.

KanCare covers more than 400,000 Kansans--mainly low-income families, but also people with disabilities and elderly Kansans in nursing homes who have used up their life savings.

The Kansas Hospital Association says it will urge federal officials to reject the proposed cuts and might also go to court to stop them.

Alex Proimos, flickr Creative Commons

Last fall NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered to survey Americans about their perceptions of health care. Kansas was one of seven states singled out for a closer look. And the thing that stood out about Kansans was the degree of concern they expressed about the cost of health care.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Budget problems are forcing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to make cuts in the state Medicaid program that he once said he wouldn’t make.

In 2012, Brownback was pushing lawmakers to approve his plan to privatize Medicaid. In his State of the State speech that year he said creating KanCare would save money--and do it in a more responsible way than other states.

“Now many states are either kicking people off of Medicaid or paying doctors and other providers less," he said. "Neither of these choices providers better outcomes.”

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Finding a way to balance the state budget is job one for Kansas lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session. But dozens of other bills remain in play, including one aimed at lowering KanCare costs by limiting patient access to expensive drugs.

Jasleen Kaur, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas’ rejection of Medicaid expansion has now cost the state more than $1 billion in lost federal revenue.

The Kansas Hospital Association keeps a running total of how much federal money the state is losing because it hasn’t expanded KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

That total spun past $1 billion over the weekend.

Hospitals say they urgently need the additional federal dollars to offset reductions in other federal reimbursements.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

Medicaid applications are piling up in Topeka because of problems with a new computer system, which are also causing some Kansans to lose their coverage.

A panel of legislators Friday reversed their recommendation of a lifetime ban on hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid patients who don’t comply with their treatment regimen.

Jim McLean

Officials from Lawrence Memorial Hospital returned Friday to the Statehouse armed with details about ongoing problems they’re having with the companies that manage KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas is one of 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid. At a forum in Overland Park Tuesday on KanCare, Kansas’ privatized version of Medicaid, a leader of Indiana’s push to expand the program explained how his very conservative state managed to do it.