Archive for Friday, December 13, 2013

Brownback not moving toward Medicaid expansion; criticizes health exchanges

December 13, 2013


For now, Gov. Sam Brownback is content to not provide health care coverage to tens of thousands of Kansans under the Affordable Care Act.

But Brownback, speaking to a group of reporters this week, said he is watching as other states negotiate with President Barack Obama's administration to expand their Medicaid programs through what is commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Referring to Medicaid expansion, he said, "I've not declared a position on it because you're seeing the federal government adjust monthly, Obamacare. They may adjust this one."

Supporters of expanding Medicaid through the ACA say Brownback, by not pushing for expansion, has taken a position of denying health care coverage to many Kansans.

"It really is on his desk and we await his decision," said state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita.

Kansas stands to lose $767 million in federal dollars for health care coverage if it doesn't expand Medicaid, according to a recent report by The Commonwealth Fund, which describes itself as a private foundation working toward a high performance health system.

A key provision of the ACA provides for states to expand Medicaid to residents with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,856 for a person, and $32,499 for a family of four. The federal government will pay all the costs for the expansion through 2016 and phase down its support to no less than 90 percent of the cost.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could decide whether to expand.

Brownback has been an ardent and longtime critic of the ACA.

"I thought the easy piece of it was the health exchanges and that has had huge problems," he told a group of reporters on Thursday.


Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 5 months ago

Health Exchanges and using the marketplace was a Republican idea. In fact, most of the ACA was based on Republican proposals from the Clinton era. A Republican Governor in Massachusetts signed almost the exact same program into law. This has nothing to do with what Sam the Sham really feels, it has everything to do with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Larry Sturm 4 years, 5 months ago

Brownback is very bad for Kansas. No health care no funding for education and no job growth only tax cuts for the for the rich.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 5 months ago

Send in the clown. Just don't reelect him.

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 5 months ago

Brownback's decision not to expand Medicaid costs Kansas $950 Million

Kansas and the 19 other states rejecting Medicaid expansion are leaving billions of dollars in federal aid on the table, even as their taxpayers pay to cover the expansion costs in states that have implemented that provision of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

The report was based on an examination of federal taxes paid by residents in each state. It concluded Kansas would see a net loss of $950 million in 2022, assuming it was the only state in the nation that had not expanded its program eligibility. The report also projected that if Kansas chose to expand Medicaid, it's share of the cost in 2022 would total $108 million compared to the $1.2 billion the state is projected to devote to business incentives and subsidies.

According to the report: "No state would experience a positive flow of funds by choosing to reject the Medicaid expansion. Because the federal share of the Medicaid expansion is so much greater than the state share, taxpayers in non-participating states will nonetheless bear a significant share of the overall cost of the expansion through federal tax benefits - and not enjoy any of the benefits."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 5 months ago

Why is this a news item? Everyone knows that Brownbackwards is a tool of the Billionaire Koch Regime and as a bought and paid for politician, toes the line with the facist billioniares. Nothing will change until Kansans wake up to the intrusian of dirty money into Kansas politics and don't vote for these tea bag proponants for elected office.

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