Archive for Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ruling leaves Medicaid expansion decision to state

July 3, 2012


If the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land, Kansas policyholders will have an important decision to make that would affect more than 150,000 Kansans.

That would be whether to expand the Medicaid program, which is the federal- and state-funded program that provides health care in Kansas to low-income families, children and people with disabilities.

The ACA required that states expand their Medicaid programs to include all non-elderly persons with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 annually for a family of four, or risk losing all federal Medicaid funding. That eligibility expansion would have had a significant impact in Kansas because currently only adults who earn less than 27 percent of the federal poverty level — $6,035 for a family of four — are eligible for Medicaid, and childless adults don’t qualify at all unless they are elderly or have a disability.

While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the ACA, it struck down the Medicaid requirement, making expansion of the program optional.

“That raises a lot of questions for states,” Suzanne Schrandt, of the Kansas Health Institute, said at a recent forum on the court’s ruling.

Schrandt said that of the state’s 350,000 uninsured people, 151,000 would qualify for the expanded Medicaid if Kansas enacts the changes.

Of those 151,000 who would qualify, 130,000 are low-income adults who currently do not qualify for Medicaid in Kansas, she said.

Gov. Sam Brownback is an ardent opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law and has said he hopes presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wins election in November and tries to repeal the law.

“Stopping Obamacare is now in the hands of the American people. It begins with a new president this fall,” Brownback said.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he was disappointed in the Supreme Court upholding the ACA but said the court’s ruling on Medicaid was a win for states. Kansas was one of 26 states that challenged the law and the proposed expansion of Medicaid was part of that challenge.

Referring to the court, Schmidt said, “It also rejected the federal government’s effort to transform the Medicaid program from a federal-state partnership into a centralized program run by Washington, from Washington and solely for Washington. These legal rulings will benefit the long-term vigor of our federal system.”

But Jay Angoff, the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said when “cooler heads prevail,” states will expand Medicaid. Under the ACA, the federal government will pay the entire cost of newly eligible Medicaid population for three years. The federal contribution decreases to 90 percent by 2020 with the states picking up the remaining costs. The Obama administration has said 17 million people nationwide will be covered by the Medicaid expansion.

“The states will see what a good deal this is,” Angoff said.


Centerville 1 year, 9 months ago

The feds will run the exchanges. They are trying to get 50 little Vichys to cover for them.


Phone_Man 1 year, 9 months ago

Twist it how you want.......


Phone_Man 1 year, 9 months ago

I’m 42, I did not go to college, was married at 19 and had a child at the age of 21. I have never been without health insurance. Why? I always had a job which provided it. I NEVER EVER entertained the thought of looking for employment someplace where health insurance was not a benefit. Many times it meant working a job most people would look down on me for or I had to take less money. Who cares, my family always had insurance and I never had a government handout.


autie 1 year, 9 months ago

You seriously write off 150,000 people you don't know anything about except they have no means to obtain health insurance? Nothing. And make the analogy that they are nothing more than livestock. Did you ever think that they are human beings that live, breath, laugh, hurt, bleed and all that? Children and young people, elderly...all of little means for any number of circumstances.

You Mr. FalseHope certainly go by the correct user name. You should be ashamed of yourself for the things you post on these boards. Your relatives must hang their heads is shame for those unlucky enough to actually be associated with you in the world. As one of the more complex nuanced liberals I find you to be absolutely disgusting. Your obsession with vitrolic hatred toward so many you know nothing of has no bounds. You go well beyond opinion.
OK, I'm sure you have some snappy answer...but I doubt it will be of any substance.


cowboy 1 year, 9 months ago

Wheres an ignore button when ya need one , sigh !


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Still haven't 'herd' what the 150,000 will do for the state. I've seen some 'faith based' gasping by the Genies. But yet to see an answer to the 'simple' question.

Even a 'farmer' expects something from 'tending' so many animals he has 'fed, housed and given medical care' to.


camper 1 year, 9 months ago

Medicaid expansion for families of four and household income less than $30,000. I know many people that are in this group. I see that they work hard at their jobs. It would bother me to see that they and their kids do not have adequate care or our legislators elect not to include them.

Interesting also, the Brownback administration just awarded contracts to three private insurance to administer Kansas Medicaid. This will be a good "test" TO see if they are interested in Kansas people in addition to insurance companies.


cowboy 1 year, 9 months ago

Health insurance should be a non profit entity period. Solves a lot of problems right out of the gate.

For those ill informed , uninsured are not unemployed bums. Once you are tagged a "pre existing " you are pretty well screwed. Kansas high risk pool , $1000 a month.


tange 1 year, 9 months ago

FalseHopeNoChange says: If the "low-income don't have the "cash"". To bad. It's called 'evolution.' "Survival of the fittest" by Herb Spencer. You've all heard of "evolution" no? ... What 'exactly' does saving 150,000 do for the state?

Back in my youth social services days, we served youngsters so damaged by their circumstances and so needful that, contextually oblivious to good- and bad-, they would do and say anything in order to get attention—ANY attention whatsoever.

/ and, BTW, you've heard of "blind alley" no?



booyalab 1 year, 9 months ago

Even if you like the idea of Medicaid, you probably wouldn't if you knew about the studies, even controlling for cultural and socioeconomic factors, that show how awful it is.

-Uninsured patients are 25% less likely to die in a hospital visit than Medicaid patients

-After angioplasty, Medicaid patients are more than twice as likely to have a major heart attack as are patients who have no health insurance.

-They are 8.1% less likely to survive a decade after a lung transplant for pulmonary disease than both privately insured and uninsured patients. The status of Medicaid insurance can significantly predict death after three years...even controlling for additional medical factors that could increase a bad outcome.

Medicaid sucks.


autie 1 year, 9 months ago

Hmmm...that means Kansas won't have that part for sure for sure. Sam and Derek has decided 150,00 poorer Kansans do not merit health care. Good job boys. So when all those people do go to ER for whatever I still get to help pay for it with my premiums/high deductibles through the magic of cost shifting. The most wonderful thing about that is we fall right off in the middle and never quality for s**t but still get to pay through the nose on everything from taxes to insurance premiums. Nope, I don't get to bask in the sunshine of my wife's family fortune nor do I sit on the porch and smoke cigarettes and drink forties all day. Thanks for the support Topeka, the median loves it.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Eliminating medicaid, and eventually medicare, is the Tea Party/Kochistan method of rationing healthcare-- if you're not wealthy, you won't take up valuable space at hospitals and clinics that can be better used for the People Who Really Matter-- the 1%. And, ironically, that does not include the average Tea Partier.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

The complex nuanced Liberals have 'drank' the Kool aide. The government "Exchanges" will work as well as the DMV, Post office, VA hopital works.

ps I like your "hype" mich9550.

I pay "cash" at hospitals and they are more than happy to reduce the bill by 50 to 60% to avoid 'government' regulations.


Michele Dillon 1 year, 9 months ago

The money the Federal government is saving by investigating and stopping the trillons of dollars that are wasted on Medicare fraud. Part of the Affordable care act is setting up a better system to deal with the Fraud issue and has already been paid back millions of dollars.

The Affordable Care Act has also required wellness and preventative programs through Medicare saving millons of dollars. Now, those on Medicare don't have to wait until they are really sick to go the doctor.

Those who bilk the system have their cable, their internet and cell phones but the client I work with do not. These are the Senior Citizens who have paid into the system and deserve some help. I have helped them get cells phones so they have some way of communicating and helped them pay their electric bills. I have clients who won't turn on their air conditioning in the 100 degree heat because it costs too much and they have to bu their medicine. They are the ones who will benefit from increasing the poverty level. I am sick and tired of people using the abusers of the system as examples of how everyone is. Let's focus on punishing them with frauding the government like we do the big spenders.

I, for one, am tired of using my tax dollars to pay for the use of the emergency room because someone doesn't have insurance to go to the doctor. The Affordable Health CAre Act is a good plan if anyone actually reads it instead of listening to the hype. Our Governor would be happy corralling all the poor and sticking them on an island to fend for themselves.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 months ago

Privatizing public services always - ALWAYS - costs more for worse service. And in Kentucky it's destroying jobs by killing small businesses.

Kentucky legislators are threatening to subpoena three managed care companies after the state's 550 small pharmacies complained that they're being pushed out of business by the companies' low Medicaid reimbursements. Sen. Jimmy Higdon, a Lebanon Republican and co-chairman of the House-Senate Program Review Committee, said the panel has sent letters inviting officials from three managed care companies to appear at a meeting Feb. 13 to answer questions. If the committee doesn't get the information it wants, it is prepared to subpoena the companies to get it, he said.

"This is a drastic measure (issuing subpoenas), but they are putting our independent pharmacists out of business," Higdon said. "You can't sell things for less than they cost and stay in business."


The situation is bad enough that the Kentucky Medical Association says some doctors have discussed taking out short-term loans to offset delays in claims reimbursement from the companies.

Independent pharmacists have been among the most vocal critics because of the complicated pricing formula the managed care industry uses to pay for prescription drugs.

"This has hurt a lot of Main Street pharmacies," said Rosemary Smith, who operates eight Eastern Kentucky pharmacies with her husband, Luther. "We are the fabric of the economy in these small communities, and they are killing us."

The managed care system was implemented Nov. 1 by Gov. Steve Beshear's administration as a cost-saving measure.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 months ago

KanCare is looking like another DMV disaster-to-be

Kansas is in the same rushed time frame as Kentucky. Here it is in the summer, and Kansas just picked its three managed care organizations.

Also, according to Anna Lambertson, executive director of the Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, “We don’t have a clear picture of what the legislative oversight is going to look like, or if there’s even going to be any.”

Of course, there should be legislative oversight. To leave this to officials working for Gov. Sam Brownback is asking for trouble. Who will represent the 380,000 citizens on KanCare, if not their legislators?

So much can go wrong.

Just ask the auditor in Kentucky.

He told KHI news service, right after the managed care plan went into effect, he started getting phone calls from patients who were “frustrated, because they couldn’t get in to see the doctors they were used to seeing.”

Then, he said, “I started hearing from providers who’d gone 90 days without being paid.”

Read more here:


Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 months ago

So Washington has offered a huge incentive to the states to expand Medicaid: For the first three years, the feds will pay for it. After that, however, states have to pick up some of the additional costs — and by the end of the decade, they have to pay 10 percent of the expansion.

So far, several states led by Republican governors have said “no thanks.” You can hear similar noises from legislative leaders in Kansas and Missouri.

If enough states refuse to expand Medicaid, it would shave tens of billions of dollars from the federal deficit over the next decade. At the same time, if states stay out of the expansion, their taxpayers will essentially be sending money to Washington to help expand Medicaid in other states.

Read more here:


KS 1 year, 9 months ago

woodscolt - I would like to know your proof that Brownback's "ideology" goes against healthcare coverage! For a man that has adopted children, I think you would be hard pressed to prove that he doesn't have compassion. I don't believe you can prove any of that. Brownback and the other 25 states are very concerned about how to pay for it. You say, "the metal meets the floor"; well, you are absolutley correct. The problem is not trying to get coverage for all, but more importantly, how the heck are we going to pay for it? Our country is already bust. We now owe China and others for 40% of every dollar we spend. The real question is, "how much should we borrow to pay for this and who do "YOU" expect to pay it back, or do you care as long as you get what you want?" Just who the heck do YOU think should pay for it? If your response is "the wealthy, because they don't pay their fair share", I would suggest you do a little reasearch before you jump onto that phony bus. You will be showing your ignorance. Boy, are you in for a surprise when you find out that the "free healthcare", you have longed for isn't free afterall. Now you too, can have an appointment with the IRS. Does that surprise you? BTW, to the American people, it will always be known as Obamacare. There is NOTHING affordable about it! Seventy five precent of the cost of this program will be passed on to families making UNDER $125,000 per year. (Wall Street Journal) You don't like that? Blame the folks that had to pass this bill so they would know what was in it because they didnt did not take the time to read it. Maybe they really didn't want to know? Personally, I think if you can afford a cell phone, internet access and cable TV, you too can afford to pay for your own healthcare. Priorities! Go get it before the IRS catches up with you. Now you too, can pay for the "mandate", oh I'm sorry, the TAX! BTW, don't go loolking for a job, because the job creators are not going to start jobs that cost them money for this "affordable" act. At this rate, I can see unemployment being up to about 8.4% by election time. Friday will tell which direction we are going on. Do you want more of that?


woodscolt 1 year, 9 months ago

"If the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land, Kansas policyholders will have an important decision to make that would affect more than 150,000 Kansans."

Well, the medal meets the floor. Sammy and all his cronies have health insurance to the hilt. However, Sammy is willing to forego the health and well being of 150,00 Kansan's (that he claims to represent). Sammy says, no, you cant have health coverage because it goes against my ideology. So, while sammy and all his cronies can bask in the finest health care available in the world, you should suffer and do without, just for sammy. You 150k kansas might want to reconsider your vote. You might want to consider voting for someone who is actually willing to lead you in your best interests rather than selfish ideology.(while not willing to make the sacrifices he is imposing on you.) Just something to think about while you can't go to the doctor , or your loved one is dying for sammy. Is sammy really worth dying for?

Time to run these a holes out of dodge. A lynching would be to kind.


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