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Kansas Medicaid Hearing Draws Extensive Criticism

Bryan Thompson

A crowd of more than 200 people packed a hearing room in Wichita Monday to sound-off about Governor Sam Brownback's plan to privatize the state's Medicaid system.

The crowd was dominated by people with developmental disabilities, their parents and caregivers.

“Why is this administration so willing to trust without empirical data on these supposed savings?” asked Chris Ealing, a Wichita educator and parent of a child with disabilities. “Why do we think that this is going to provide enough revenue to take care of our population? It just seems ridiculous and trust does exist in this process for me.”

The Brownback administration originally filed a federal waiver request to allow the privatization plan, known as KanCare, on the day before new federal transparency rules would have required additional public hearings.

The administration recently realized that they had failed to notify two Indian health clinics about a chance to consult with the state about KanCare as required. 

The state plans to resubmit the waiver request next month but is now obligated to take more comment from the general public.

The last chance for the public to be heard takes place Wednesday in Topeka.


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