Archive for Monday, December 5, 2011

Kansas ranks last in improving numbers of children with health insurance, study says

EMT Kevin Waterworth, right, of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., shows off a colorful children's emergency ambulance at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to Kim Coons, a registered nurse, in this 2007 file photo. Kansas ranked last nationally from 2008-2010 in making progress in insuring children, a new study says.

EMT Kevin Waterworth, right, of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., shows off a colorful children's emergency ambulance at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to Kim Coons, a registered nurse, in this 2007 file photo. Kansas ranked last nationally from 2008-2010 in making progress in insuring children, a new study says.

December 5, 2011


— Kansas ranked last nationally from 2008-2010 in making progress in insuring children, a new study says.

Related document

Study on children's health insurance ( .PDF )

Nationwide, the number of children without health insurance coverage decreased during that three-year period.

But in Kansas and Minnesota, things went in the opposite direction.

The two states had the highest percentage increase of uninsured children during that time, according to the study conducted by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families.

Kansas’ rate of uninsured children in 2010 was 8.2 percent, up from 7.4 percent in 2008. That represents an increase of uninsured children of 7,853 from 51,930 in 2008 to 59,783 in 2010.

Over the same period, even with more children living in poverty, the nationwide rate of uninsured children decreased from 9.3 percent to 8 percent, which meant there were nearly 1 million more children insured. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia experienced a decrease in the uninsured rate of children.

The national improvement was attributed to more children getting coverage through states’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.

So why did Kansas rank at the bottom?

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children, said Monday it was because Kansas’ efforts to provide health care coverage for more children from low-income families were made later than most other states.

An expansion of eligibility and changes in procedures to make it easier to sign up for Medicaid and HealthWave were not fully implemented until 2010.

“We took some steps in the right direction,” she said. “We are not seeing the fruits of those labors yet. We need to stay the course.”

She added, “KAC has launched a statewide campaign to enroll more children in HealthWave, a program that provides quality, cost-effective health insurance to parents who can’t get or can’t afford private health insurance. Many kids in Kansas are eligible for HealthWave, but their parents may not know it. We aim to change that.”

Joan Aker, co-executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, said Kansas can learn from other states to reduce the rate of uninsured children.

“No matter where they live, families that are struggling to meet their children’s health care needs during perilous economic times should get the help they need. Overall, on a national level, these data highlight a rare piece of good news at a challenging time for children – poverty has gone up, but across the county more kids are insured,” Aker said.

Because of high unemployment rates and increasing cost of private insurance, more families have applied for coverage under Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. President Barack Obama signed an extension of CHIP and earmarked $87 billion to the states in economic stimulus to help pay for Medicaid.


woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

more great news from the brownback regime. Get-um born and then throw them under the bus. What a policy.

woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

And how does that change the brownback policy? You know, the one that will make these numbers worse instead of a policy that might lead to improving these numbers.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 11 months ago

Why don't you just admit that you got caught making a bitter, partisan statement that had nothing to do with the story. Maybe if you read the details instead of launching into a rant you would not make of fool of yourself so quickly. BTW-I am not a Brownback supporter, so don't bother trying to attack me about his policies.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Remember we just completed 8 years of Democrat government in Topeka. I don't think you can lay this one at Brownbacks feet try Ms. Sebelius...

woodscolt 5 years, 11 months ago

It is interesting that all the "you can't blame it on bush" people can flip flop if it is to their likings.They can understand you can blame it on Sebelius but can't understand you can "blame it on bush" when blame clearly falls on bush. Comical. We may as well impose the obligatory "You might also remember that we had a republican house and senate the last 8 years (800 years) as well." The one thing you can be sure of is that with a republican house/senate plus brownback, these numbers will only get worse at an alarming rate. Funny, the right wingers are all so pro-life but so against anything that benefits people's lives. And they can keep selling that over and over and over and ..................

63BC 5 years, 11 months ago

The entire period covered in the report [2008-2010] occurred under a previous administration. Read the story.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 11 months ago

Awwww, I got here too early to see the commenters who see this story and say something about how terrible Obama is and say something about how great Republican Conservatives are.

skinny 5 years, 11 months ago

Since when is it the states responsibility to provide peoples kids with health insurance?

Alexander Smith 5 years, 11 months ago

When the parents can't afford to provide care. The country is about WE the people, not "I" the people.

Centerville 5 years, 11 months ago

It only became the state's responsibility when the Governor's office changed hands, apparently.

Jan Rolls 5 years, 11 months ago

Well does anybody think sam the sham is helping now by fighting the health care bill? Surely there are kids with pre-existing conditions that can get health care now. How about the 18-24 year olds that can stay on their parent's plan now. I guess sam and his buddies can repeal it and then they can tell those people to go to you know where. As far as skinny goes evidently the only thing you can read is information that consists of pictures only.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Why don't you focus on the 8 yr. Democrat leadership in Topeka and how little they did?

Alexander Smith 5 years, 11 months ago

DEMS has done many good thinks and some bad things. But Brownback has cost us MILLIONS of dollars and lord who knows how many jobs. OH the money that was supposed to go to efficiency Kansas..humm buddy Brownback gave it to some big corps to "HELP BOOST" the economy. Ironically these companies hired like two people. GO Brownback.

merritr 5 years, 11 months ago

To answer your question, Mr. Johnson, it has been the state's responsibility since Medicare and Medicaid were created several decades ago, and if we did NOT ensure our children had access to healthcare, we would be the ONLY country in the developed world NOT to do so.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Well if that is true why has it been such a failure? Perhaps because these programs promote dependency upon government rather than helping people to get good jobs and build their own lives with self-reliance. The truth is that no one can depend on a government that clearly does not have the ability to keep us all healthy!

kseagle 5 years, 11 months ago

And look at those other "developed world" countries. They are such beacons of prosperity right now. You know all those wonderful gov't handouts have made those countries places that everyone wants to live.

Oh wait, that's right those countries are now sinking in unsustainable debt due to stupid and worthless ideas like Obamacare and there are riots in the streets!! Liberal policies have always failed because they are unsustainable and unaffordable. Someday maybe the left in this country will learn that handouts are not hand ups and do nothing to help the person but to make them slaves of the state.

deec 5 years, 11 months ago

You mean Canada, Sweden, Germany, and Israel?

kochmoney 5 years, 11 months ago

Europe is totally one country made up entirely of Greece and Ireland. It couldn't possibly include Iceland or Germany.

deec 5 years, 11 months ago

Or the northern socialist countries that have higher quality of life and standards of living along with public health care. In fact, all the developed countries except the U.S. have some form of public health care.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

But what they lack is the diversity we have, especially from immigration. Maybe it's difficult for a country to sustain both.

Alexander Smith 5 years, 11 months ago

wow.. your are dumb as you sound. What connection does Obamacare have to do with money hand outs that the previous presidents gave??? If you check, more money was handed out to countries when GOP was in power.

Lets take alook at something. GOP supports big business, give breaks to big business, big business sends jobs over seas to increase profit for the stock holders. Big business gets BUSTED by the DEMS for corrupt business practices. HUMM.. GOP does not want tax increase or tax modification to protect big business and rich.

Oh the fun continues.. because of the above more American are unemployed and forced to take lower paying jobs which causes a strain on programs that support those who need help.

OH and one last thing, when GOP took over Congress the championed STOPPING Obama and moving the country forward... umm since GOP took over Congress we are still stuck in Neutral and millions of dollars wasted.

Alexander Smith 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh did you mention that with the grateful guiding grace of the GOP and support of not fixing our tax system, giving support to big business breaks, ... our jobs are being sent overseas so that the economic stimulis the that GOP wants to give to big business and rich go into the wallets of the rich and never help the mass public.

When will the GOP get it through there thick skulls that WE can no longer run with the GOP ideas. We are no longer a self sustaining country. A huge chunk of our production goes to other countries.

Oh on a side note, latest studies show that the USA is ranked 24th as the most economic stable countries. Those commy social countries are ranked 1 through 10.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 11 months ago

How about that! Obama is looking out for the kiddies even if Brownback isn't.The last time the Rethugs cared about you, you were a fetus.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

What you mean is the children were abused under the Sebelius admin. which certainly did not tackle this issue properly.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Ah, but the KS legislature was solidly Republican.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Who's responsibility is it to provide health care for children? The answer is Democrats in Washington and Republicans in Topeka. It's progressives in the Northeast and conservatives in the South. It's Congress and it's the Executive Branch. It's City Hall and it's your local place of worship. Take your pick. It's all of these. Have I left anyone out? Oh yea, parents. Maybe we should put at least some of the responsibility on them.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Ah, you missed my sarcasm. I did mean that it's the role of parents and that all this laying the responsibility off on others is misguided. It only becomes the responsibility of other groups when the parents have failed in their responsibility.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

The Cultural Revolution by Governor Brownback, the Koch Brothers and the Kansas Policy Institute continues. Another Great Leap Backward. Not a number 1 ranking we should be proud of...

Armstrong 5 years, 11 months ago

Anybody read the part about the numbers being skewed due to late participation by the state ? Don't let facts cloud your conclusions.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 11 months ago

Do any of you people know what it is like to take care of a sick kid?

Or are you just arm chair types who comment on everything, without any facts.

It seems to me, from what I read here, that a lot of people who comment would prefer to have sick kids get worse and worse and then die.

This is from a very warped, small personal perspective that thinks about no one but oneself.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 11 months ago

Most of us do know what it is like to take care of a sick kid. Most (maybe) of us take care of our kids, and would rather not take care of yours! You steal from my kids when I have to support yours....forcefully!

Getaroom 5 years, 11 months ago

Go figure, it's primarily GOP Kansas, which always votes with a Republican brian and heart( reflecting it's usual Black and White thinking), and we have had irresponsible legislators for too many years prior and long before this reports findings.
No matter who is to blame, and it is certainly not illegals, the children of our state are being let down, how many citizens of this town want to place that responsibility on their own shoulders? The other obvious "gorilla in the room" is the inflated health care costs created by a run wild free market full of profit takers. Until health care is taken out of the hands of pure profiteers there will be no such thing as affordable health care. So long as our multimillionair - that situation will remain the same.
Soon only the very wealthy will have access to decent affordable health care, whether it is described as ObamaCare - or not.
A good question that would directly reflect on the content of the above story is: How did Kansas rank in all the years prior to this report, as a beginning baseline to offer a useful perspective on this conversation?

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Socialism has never worked because it makes people dependent and dishonest. Letting true capitalism operate within an ethical Judeo-Christian context and limitations provides the best model for true economic growth and promotion of upward mobility. We need to reject the Obama and Sebelius approach and return to our roots as a nation.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Which roots?

The genocide of native Americans? Slavery? Women not being allowed to own property or vote, and being considered the property of their husbands, who were allowed to legally beat them?

As far as I can see, capitalism breeds as much dishonesty as socialism.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Liberty in America has always been at the center of our political philosophy! A continued expansion of liberty to live up to the values that we proclaim, when we have failed we have tried to correct the situation, as is the case in each example that you gave. Capitalism keeps the State at bay and allows the individual to seek opportunity and advancement, while our Judeo/Christian ethic, constrains the abuses of capitalism.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

That ethic doesn't seem to be doing such a bang-up job of constraining the abuses, as far as I can tell.

Liberty is not the only value of our society - in each of the examples I mentioned, certain persons' liberty was restrained in order to grant rights to others.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 11 months ago

Why do people have kids if they can't pay for their health insurance? Like the front page news story a week ago that had the couple living at the shelter with two kids and one on the way! Post after post praising the couple....that is what is wrong with America! Losers having babies!

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Nothing in the article blamed Brownback, or even mentioned his name.

But, of course, even with a D governor, the legislature was solidly R as long as anybody can remember in KS.

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