Topeka — Some lawmakers are getting angry about reports that thousands of Kansans eligible for Medicaid are not getting coverage because of recent federal requirements to show proof of U.S. citizenship.
"It's unconscionable. We are denying services to children," state Sen. Jim Barone, D-Frontenac, said at a recent meeting.
Andrew Allison, acting Medicaid director, said the state's caseload has decreased by about 18,000 to 20,000 people because of the new requirements.
And, he said, most of those people are eligible but simply aren't able to get the necessary paperwork - such as birth certificates - in a timely manner to get the benefits. In addition, the state's clearinghouse for handling applications is swamped because of the new rules, which took effect July 1.
But Barone said that despite the federal rules, the state needed to do what was necessary to respond.
"We have a capability in this building to solve this problem," he said.
Marcia Nielsen, executive director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, said the agency has requested extra personnel to handle the backlog of applications. The authority has also reallocated funding to hire more people.
But Barone said the Health Policy Authority wasn't acting quickly enough.