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Archive for Monday, May 6, 2013

Advocates for those with developmental disabilities applaud Brownback’s funding proposal, urge withdrawal of KanCare plan

May 6, 2013

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— Parents of Kansans with disabilities on Monday praised Gov. Sam Brownback for proposing additional funds to provide services and to move people off of waiting lists that they say have reached a crisis point.

But they also urged Brownback to withdraw his plan to provide long-term care for their children under KanCare, which is the overhauled Medicaid program run by private insurance companies.

Ronda Klein, of Topeka, whose 19-year-old son, Curtis, is autistic and suffers seizures, said her experience with KanCare was "a mess."

She said that even though her private insurance pays for most of Curtis' medical care, Klein sought to transfer paperwork to KanCare when the new system became operational this year.

She said it took months of frustrating work and that bringing thousands of vulnerable Kansans under KanCare at the same time "would be a nightmare."

She added that it would take years to have a plan "where people won't drop off the cliff."

Brownback's staff has said the long-term care supports for those with disabilities can be handled by KanCare without disruption.

The issue is expected to be aired out when the legislative session reconvenes Wednesday.

Regarding the waiting lists, last week Brownback proposed a budget amendment that would provide $18.5 million for services in the home and the community for 600 people. Approximately 5,000 people with developmental disabilities are on the waiting list for services; some of them have been there for longer than 10 years. Approximately 2,600 people with physical disabilities are on another waiting list.

Tim Wood, campaign manager for the End the Wait Campaign with the Disability Rights Center, said he would like to see more funds devoted to the waiting lists, but that Brownback's proposal was a good start. Wood said a multiyear plan should be implemented to move everyone off the waiting lists.

Kathy Lobb, of Lawrence, who is with the Self Advocates Coalition of Kansas, agreed.

"I want to make sure families get the services they need," she said.

The $18.5 million proposed by Brownback represents only about one-fifth of social service savings reflected in a new state budget estimate.

And even though advocates and parents said the waiting lists have taken a huge financial and social toll on families, they were still pleased with the amount. "This is progress," Klein said.

Last year, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forwarded waiting list complaints in Kansas to the U.S. Justice Department for further investigation.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 4 months ago

It is my understanding that KanCare is not for those families who are fortunate to have excellent private insurance that will take care of their children who have development disabilities. It is for the poorest poor of our state who have no where else to turn for help and may not have the support groups that others have.

I think we should be focusing much more on what causes developmental disabilities as my reading on the CDC website leads me to believe that many of these conditions can be prevented, but only if men and women both think about their health before they commit to a pregnancy. Which, I don't think, many are going to do, as most will only start to worry after the knowledge of the pregnancy and sometimes not even then.

It is my misfortune to know for a fact of at least three women who have stayed in the homeless shelter, mind this was some years ago, and used drugs and alcohol throughout their pregnancy's which caused the full terms babies to be born underweight and with a lot of difficulties. Would it be have been so wrong to have these women sterilized, forcibly if need be, at the time of the birth? Wouldn't that be better than baby after baby being born with no expectations whatsoever, babies that were inevitable taken by the state to raise.

In my mind the prevention of the conception of such babies is far less cruel than their birth. Does a woman really have a right to keep doing this? She is not going to be around to see the suffering of the child. No, she is going to leave the hospital and go right back to the old life style. This is what is costing the state thousands upon thousands. This can be stopped if only the will is there to do it.

There are very responsible parents who have such children because of other causes and not anything they have done. I want to make clear that I do know this and I do think they are more than entitled to every kind of help they can get.

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Mike1949 1 year, 4 months ago

Get the anti-abortion groups & churches to pay for these births and raising of these children. After all, it is a product of their success that help create this mess, is it not?

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