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Administration drops one-third of people on waiting list for physical disability services


Topeka — One third of the people with physical disabilities who have been waiting for assistance from the state have been removed from the list, many because they could not be reached, Gov. Sam Brownback's administration announced Monday.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan said the state now has a better handle on the waiting list and officials will move forward with spending money that was available July 1 to provide services for 100 people.

The issue centers on a program that provides services to help Kansans with physical disabilities live in their homes or other community-based settings as an alternative to more expensive and confining nursing home care.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan speak Monday on disability services.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan speak Monday on disability services. by Scott Rothschild

Brownback's administration has been under fire for not providing help to thousands of low-income Kansans with physical disabilities. The federal government has been investigating complaints that the state is violating the civil rights of people who are waiting for assistance, some of whom have been waiting for years.

In July, 3,462 people with physical disabilities were on the waiting list.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services hired a call center to try to contact people on the waiting list. The agency then had the Centers for Independent Living and other case management entities certify those on the waiting list.

Secretary Sullivan said 1,226 people were removed from the waiting list.

Many could not be reached and about 10 percent were determined ineligible for services, he said. Sullivan provided no specific numbers from survey, but did say a small percentage had died while on the waiting list.

Colyer and Sullivan said that people who are on the waiting list who fall into a crisis or life-threatening situation can access the care that they need.

Colyer said the state's proposal to move to KanCare, which places the Medicaid program in the hands of private managed care companies, will provide better continuity of services for those with disabilities.

Advocates for people with physical disabilities have been filing Olmstead complaints, based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says states must provide services to people with disabilities to enable them to be more integrated in the community.

Earlier this year, negotiations between the Brownback administration and officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services broke down. HHS then forwarded the waiting list complaints to the U.S. Justice Department, which has said enforcement of the Olmstead ruling is a top priority of the agency.


Steve Swaggerty 5 years, 5 months ago

Couldn't be reached? Or no attempt was made to reach them?

Mike1949 5 years, 5 months ago

yea, maybe a phone call, oops, not home, add this one to can't contact! This is so in plain sight crap that I am not surprised the only people who believe this stuff are republicans,

deec 5 years, 5 months ago

I know I always rush to answer my phone when an unknown caller with a possibly out-of-state area code rings.

End sarcasm.

BigDog 5 years, 5 months ago

superswagg56 -

"The agency then had the Centers for Independent Living and other case management entities certify those on the waiting list."

Are you saying that the Centers for Independent Living didn't try to contact these individuals? Given their history of advocacy .... I would assume that they made every effort to find the them.

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 5 months ago

I read it as, they hired a call center to try to contact people, then Centers for Independent Living certified the people that they were able to reach.
It doesn't sound like anyone made a second effort to track down those who couldn't immediately be reached.

xyz 5 years, 5 months ago

That's how I read it, too, dulcinea47. I hope that HHS and DOJ will add this to their list of things to investigate. And there was funding on July1 to provide services to additional people and it has taken them this long to now start providing services??? Unbelievable!!! But that seems to be the mode that FlimFlamSam and his lackeys operate in.

James Nelson 5 years, 5 months ago

ANY KANSAN who believes Sam Brownback's administration has made a good faith effort at getting in touch with unhealthy, disabled or poor people already on a list, knowing each one will cost the state money, is a total idiot and a complete fool. I was an auditor and know it is impossible to lose track of one third of the people on a list that is just a few years old. They are lying and I could prove it. Why do so many Kansans put up with the lies that seem to fly out of the Brownback administration? Lets get rid of this jerk.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 5 months ago

This is not good. Not only that, it still leaves 2200+people on the list with resources for only 100 of them; resources that have been held back for four months.
I just have one question. When they choose the 100 that ARE going to get resources, will there be a Bible involved?

James Nelson 5 years, 5 months ago

to cait48 above - It looks like just another example of many Brownback appointees who have proven to be in way over their heads and unfit to lead any level of state government, but I'll bet he is a good pro-lifer, which seems to be the only qualification needed to serve in the Brownback administration. I admit this is a catty remark but the proof is in the pudding.

This governor will do ANYTHING to help pay for his financially disastrous and ill-advised tax cut for the rich. Surely there are enough good people around that can put a stop to his uncaring, arrogant ways.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 5 months ago

Helping helpless people should be a priority. Many are holding on to a threadbare string that is about to break. That is unspeakable that some of them died waiting for help.

4getabouit 5 years, 5 months ago

I tried to contact Brownback. I received no response. Can I take him off the list of governors?

Bob Forer 5 years, 5 months ago

The $58,000 that Brownback squandered in his recent mailing to small business advising of the recent tax cuts would have changed the lives of a few disabled people for the better.

The guy is an unmitigated pig masquerading as a Christian. .

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

--- Let's see Brownback gave $9 million to Marrs Candy and $47 million to AMC instead of helping people.

--- And he wants to kill public education so he can give those tax dollars to corporate America who spend it on extravagance.

  1. --- CEO salaries
  2. --- Bonus Packages that are beyond belief
  3. --- Shareholders
  4. --- Golden Parachutes
  5. --- Political Campaigns
  6. --- Jet planes

seriouscat 5 years, 5 months ago

not only that, AMC is owned by a Chinese firm.

dabbindan 5 years, 5 months ago

what the protocol was for making the effort to contact, and the level of integrity of the call center is what i want to know. this administration cannot be given the benefit of the doubt.

verity 5 years, 5 months ago

Flagged for misuse of "conservative."

If I described what these guys are, I would be deleted. Actually I can't even think of words to adequately describe them---and I'm pretty imaginative.

verity 5 years, 5 months ago

That's why I wear jack boots---to keep my tiny self from blowin' in the wind.

verity 5 years, 5 months ago

Get thee to the polls and get rid of every single legislator who supports Brownback.

And educate your friends. During this campaign I have found the level of political awareness appalling. Many people have never even heard of ALEC, let alone know what it is.

When we neglect those who are not so fortunate as to be able to care for themselves, we make ourselves less than human.

deec 5 years, 5 months ago

"I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me... whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

wow, one way to read this as Scott wrote it, the administration simply used a call center, then passed on the findings to the centers for independent living. if that's what happened, relying simply on only a call center for these 3000+ individuals, that's woefully inadequte!

scott's writing is a little vague and it may be that the centers hada bit more role up front, and I sure hope that's the case.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

uh Deec, Jesus wasn't speaking of voting for having the government confiscate people's money and being compassionate with other people's money.

instead, He was talking about your own compassion.

deec 5 years, 5 months ago

Funny, I don't see where He made the distinction. Electing people who don't believe in helping fellow humans would seem to be in direct contradiction of the words attributed to Jesus.

Trumbull 5 years, 5 months ago

Something is flat out wrong about this. I wonder how many of the disabled on this list were in the hospital, receiving therapy, unable to afford phone services, etc.

A good society takes care of the most vulnerable.

verity 5 years, 5 months ago

I saw last night that Occupy Wall Street was apparently doing a better job of helping out after Sandy than either the Red Cross or FEMA. Red Cross and FEMA either seemed to be missing in action or woefully inadequate.

Of course, this was on PBS, so I'm sure it was a biased report.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh, this makes me sooo mad. My special needs son has had respite services about four years now, but I am incensed at the obvious lack of worth Brownback places on persons with special needs. Here's a hint, Brownie. A good deal of these folks on disability cannot afford to get or maintain phone service, even through Lifeline. If this damn call center was the only means utilized to try and contact those on the waiting list, come one, that is a p@**-poor excuse. I dearly wish I could have cast a vote to boot him out of office today.

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