Comment history

Kansas lawmakers and lobbyists go to work on budget, school funding, Medicaid and more

Topeka hospitals lose millions without Medicaid expansion

Topeka’s two hospitals would lose millions in revenue under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but expanding Medicaid could blunt some of that impact, according to an analysis.

The Kansas Hospital Association projected how much revenue hospitals would lose locally and statewide under the health care law. Across the board, the impact was deeper if Kansas doesn’t expand Medicaid, which is known as KanCare under Kansas’ system of contracting with three private managed care organizations. Much of the impact came from Medicaid payments returning to their normal levels after a temporary increase in reimbursement rates for 2013 and 2014, said Kevin Han, chief financial officer for Stormont-Vail HealthCare.

Under the health care law, all states would have expanded Medicaid to cover households making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. The federal government would pay all of the cost of expansion in the first year, though that would be reduced to 90 percent over time. The law also included provisions to cut other reimbursements hospitals receive.

In Kansas, Medicaid covers children up to 133 percent of the poverty line, which would be an annual income of $31,721 for a family of four, with higher income limits for infants and toddlers. Adults with children can be covered only if they have an income of $7,872 or less, and childless adults aren’t eligible. KHA estimated about 100,000 low-income adults would gain coverage if Kansas expanded Medicaid by 2016.

January 20, 2015 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers and lobbyists go to work on budget, school funding, Medicaid and more

Dave don't you and the Kpi like to spread lies?

January 20, 2015 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers and lobbyists go to work on budget, school funding, Medicaid and more

Ever wonder how much money Kansas has left on the table since January 1st 2014 by not expainding Medicaid?

Medicaid since January 1st 2014?

$412,760,000.00 million.

Kansans pay taxes and expect something back in return. Like health care and financial security.

January 19, 2015 at 6:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Sen. Roberts skeptical of Obama moves on Cuba

Sure pat, Freeing Iraq

All republicans in favor

Cost 5000 dead solders, 7 trillion dollars spent and rising.

150,000 dead Iraqis, it's worse there than before the war

Destabilized the whole region!

Freeing Cuba!

Cost nothing

All republicans opposed!


December 23, 2014 at 8:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Torture report says little on Pat Roberts' role

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) duty is “to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States” and “to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” But on the most important intelligence issues facing Americans – such as the manipulation of Iraq intelligence, warrantless domestic spying, and torture – Roberts has transformed his committee into a “Senate Coverup Committee” for the Bush administration.
Warrantless Domestic Spying
Iraq Intelligence
Intelligence Leak Hypocrisy
What Editorial Boards Are Saying

December 15, 2014 at 7:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Children's advocates call on Brownback to veto transfer of $5 million from children's programs to KBA

Tornado Alley too dangerous for pathogen research lab

Graphic images of utter devastation from the EF-5 tornado that slammed into Moore, Okla., are a stark reminder of the power of cyclonic storms in the Great Plains to destroy virtually all above-ground structures that lie in their path.

They should also be a warning of the folly of building a federal research lab handling the most dangerous pathogens on earth in the heart of Tornado Alley. And yet that is exactly what the Department of Homeland Security is planning to do in Manhattan, Kan., which in 2008 was struck by an EF-4 tornado similar to the one that leveled Moore, Okla.

The decision of the DHS to build the National Bio-and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, in Manhattan, Kan., is a classic example of politics trumping safety and the lengths that state officials and members of Congress will go to secure a billion-dollar federal project in times of economic hardship. Designed to replace the aging Plum Island lab on Long Island, the NBAF will conduct research in maximum containment labs on pathogens that represent a grave threat to humans and livestock, whether from terrorist attacks or natural outbreaks.

The decision to build the NBAF in Kansas was the result of a two-year site selection process in which 28 sites in 11 states were evaluated by federal officials. I chaired the consortium of San Antonio research institutions that competed for the site selection. The single most important criterion in the selection process was safety and the risk of a catastrophic event resulting in the accidental release of deadly pathogens. The fear of such a scenario was so great that heated public opposition caused many of the proposed sites to be withdrawn from consideration. In the end, the Kansas site was chosen in the waning hours of the Bush administration and soon afterward endorsed by the Obama administration.

May 8, 2014 at 7:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Not good news

Moody's downgrades Kansas Again

May 6, 2014 at 7:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Pulitzer-winning writer featured in Tuesday Lawrence library event on Keystone Pipeline

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: The Facts on Sticky Leaks, Billion Dollar Spills, and Dirty Air

How Tar Sands Work

Tar sands oil bears little resemblance to anything most people would recognize as petroleum. In its natural form, it is not even liquid. Rather, it is solid or semi-solid bitumen, mixed with clay, sand, and water in a sticky sludge.

“It basically is a very tarry, asphalt-like substance that requires an enormous amount of energy to get out of the ground and an enormous amount of energy to move and to refine,” says Anthony Swift, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “It's a much lower grade of oil, almost liquid coal. There are many more impurities there are many more toxic substances in it” compared to conventional petroleum.

Tar sands extraction is generally done in two ways: surface mining and drilling.

Surface mining is similar to the commonly understood form of mineral extraction. Much like a gold mine or coal mine requires digging into the earth to uncover the valuable minerals held within, tar sands mining differs only in the vast areas that must be cleared and the vast amounts of earth that must be dug up to remove the bitumen.

Drilling for tar sands, however, is very different from any other form of oil drilling. Rather than poking a giant straw into an underground reservoir that then gushes up under pressure or is pumped to the surface, the bitumen locked in the soil is too thick to be pumped in a similar fashion.

Drilling for bitumen, typically undertaken when the tar sands are too deep beneath the surface for cost-effective mining, requires a multi-step process. First, a collection tube is drilled. And then above that an injection tube is drilled, which then forces superheated steam into the earth under extreme pressure, which heats and liquefies the bitumen which is been collected by the first tube.

Each process has its own significant drawbacks. Most obviously, surface mining requires a level of industrial activity on a delicate ecosystem that many people likely would find unconscionable.

“It's called the boreal forest. This is an incredibly rich ecosystem with the largest remaining intact ecosystem in North America and the tar sands would completely devastate that region,” says Kate Colarulli, associate director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign. “It would pollute some of the largest freshwater rivers in North America. The Athabasca [River] is facing tremendous pollution from this, and it would create huge amounts of toxic air emissions. So what we see at the production site is an environmental Armageddon.”

May 6, 2014 at 7:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )