In most of the states seeking to go their own way on Medicaid expansion, governors are leading the negotiations with the federal government. But as Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, it’s a different story in Kansas.
Efforts to expand Medicaid in Kansas and Missouri been unsuccessful in recent years. But advocates say this year could be different particularly in Kansas where hospitals are gearing up for a big push.
The hospitals are crafting their plans to appeal to conservative Republicans who control the governor's office and both houses of the Legislature. Jim McLean of the KHI News Service has details.
A new Gallup poll shows Kansas is the only state in the nation to see a significant increase in its uninsured rate this year. Meanwhile, states that adopted parts of the Affordable Care Act have seen the largest declines in their rates.
The adult uninsured rate in Kansas rose from 12.5 percent last year to more than 17.5 percent during the first half of this year, giving it the seventh-highest uninsured rate in the U.S. Research director Dan Witters did not offer an explanation for the growth in Kansas uninsured.
Gov. Sam Brownback is making a major push to improve the state’s mental health system. The governor's plan creates a behavioral health sub-cabinet within state government, targets substance abuse for its role in exacerbating mental illness, and increases financial investment in current treatment programs, among other things.
85,000 uninsured Kansans have found themselves in the so-called Medicaid gap, unable to receive federal or state funding to help cover healthcare costs. Governor Brownback has deferred the issue to state lawmakers. Many local residents spoke about the issue at a legislative forum.