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News! Kansas is expanding medicaid to cover adults.

Kansas is the 37th state to expand coverage to include adults living on incomes under 100% of the federal poverty level ($25,700 for a family of four).

 

Late coming (already four community hospitals closed since 2013- wrecking the local economies.) But maybe pumping the brakes on additional hospital shut-downs. 

Expanding Medicaid - Background 

Since the US Supreme Court disassociated Medicaid coverage from the Affordable Care Act in 2013 each State had the option of expanding medicaid coverage or not. About half the States immediately opted in and expanded Medicaid for their constituents. Kansas and other poorly managed states declined to participate. The results have been disastrous.

  • At least four critical access hospitals closed and another thirty are on the brink in Kansas. Why? Because the Federal funds for Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) were resorbed by the Federal government and used to finance Medicaid expansion in those States that opted in. When hospitals close the towns suffer loss of services and loss of jobs.
  • The idea had been carefully calculated for the DSH hospitals to bill a similar amount for care of the newly covered Medicaid patients and have it a wash. But, the Supremes shut down the Medicaid portion, left the resorption of funds and therefore the hospitals floundered. Federal taxes from Kansas went to other States that expanded Medicaid. This led to Kansas losing several billion dollars. (This was just one of the catastrophic effects of the poorly thought-through decisions that led to near bankruptcy of the State by Kansas policy-makers following then Governor Brownback.)
  • Tens of thousands of Kansans went without access to services. A number of these people simply died due to delayed, incomplete or simply no health services. One of the tragedies that were a result is that the poorest of the poor (100% of the poverty level and less) had no access while those with somewhat better circumstances (101% of the poverty level and more) qualified for stipend support to purchase insurance on the exchange. As a State we made the choice to provide support for those who were slightly better off while leaving the most vulnerable without any access to care. 

The good news -

The Medicaid expansion will help over 100,000 individuals access health services.

The Medicaid expansion may help stabilize some of the hospitals that are near closure- good for the hospitals and the communities.

The Medicaid expansion will help State finances.

 

 

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How the 800,000 "Dreamers" differ from other undocumented immigrants: 1) They grew up speaking English and as part of the US community. 2) Most are in school or have jobs- they are part of our economy. 3) They have already passed background checks. 4) They have no where to go "back" to as many are not fluent in the language of their parents. We need to protect these people from the hateful effects of anti-immigrant policies. This has nothing to do with closing the border, protecting the US from "bad hombres" or other anti-immigrant policies. They are different. On the spectrum of undocumented immigrants, this group should be an easy pass.- SLeeMD
 

 


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