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Concerns of those who care for Kansans with developmental disabilities rise as session reconvenes

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Topeka — As legislators return Wednesday for the wrap-up session, concerns are rising for those who care for Kansans with developmental disabilities.

Two issues are in play.

One is increased funding proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback to reduce the number of Kansans on waiting lists to get the support they need.

The second issue is whether the thousands of Kansans with developmental and intellectual disabilities should be brought under the new KanCare system to provide their long-term care services.

Parents of those with disabilities support Brownback's proposed $18.5 million funding increase, though many oppose providing long-term care for their children under the privatized KanCare system run by for-profit insurance companies.

But Brownback's administration is saying one would impact the other.

Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said the "continued opposition to including long-term services under KanCare for persons on the I/DD (intellectual and developmental disability) waiver jeopardizes the state's ability to address the waiting lists."

De Rocha points to a fiscal note of House Bill 2029, which would "carve out" long-term care services from KanCare.

That fiscal note, signed by Brownback's budget director Steve Anderson, says the carve-out would increase costs to the state by $9.2 million in the fiscal year starting July 1, and $16.8 million in the fiscal year after that.

As a result, de Rocha said, the ability of the House and Senate to adopt Brownback's increased funding plan "could be impacted by the carve-out."

Tom Laing, executive director of InterHab, which represents groups that provide services to people with developmental disabilities, had a different view of the fiscal note.

Laing said projected costs contained in the fiscal note incorrectly included several factors, including inflation. "We don't get paid higher costs due to inflation. That is a fictional variable that they've thrown in," he said.

InterHab says more than 1,100 Kansans will attend a rally on Wednesday outside the Statehouse calling on Brownback and the Legislature to carve out from KanCare long-term services for the developmentally disabled.

Comments

avarom 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Brownback answer: Carve out two one hundred dollars bills and call me in the morning....

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scribe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

He's 'giving' the money to the waiting lists to keep from getting sued by the feds for failing to provide services. It's not out of the goodness of his heart and certainly not to 'help' our disabled friends. If KanCare succeeds, the waiting list money will wind up in the pockets of the managed care organizations anyway. He's helping out his own friends in the long run. And if the 'carve out' noise doesn't go away, I'm sure there will be some retribution for those making the noise. He doesn't like it when people disagree with him.

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autie 11 months, 2 weeks ago

include “fictional variables” but did include forward projection of current inflationary trends for services.

You mean guessing? How can one count any form of inflation for something that hasn't had the rates changed in years? Providers will recieve the same level of tiered payments by service regardless of inflation. Service providers have fallen farther and farther behind because of lack of adjustments for this. So the analysis is flawed from the outset. But your boss already has it figured to come out smelling like a rose, doesn't he? Life must be grand when all you have to do is sit around a make stuff up. The bottom line is for profit MCO's will skim off their share, leaving less and less that should be spent on people.

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Susan Shaw 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought the fiscal issue was not based on inflation, but on the (misguided) theory that the state will save money only if they lump everything in with KanCare. Inflation is still going to be around regardless of whether services are carved out. And not all providers get raises because of inflation. Many do not. It is kind of conniving for the state to say, "If you people don't quit pushing for services to be carved out, then we are not going to fund your waiting lists." I wondered what Brownback was up to when he suddenly made that generous proposal to give money to the waiting lists. I don't think we will be fooled.

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jafs 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If two entities provide the same level of support services, then inflation will be a factor for both of them.

There's no reason to think that a private entity can provide the same level of services for less money.

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scribe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Angela, your boss has been caught in so many fiscal 'errors' that it's too hard to believe any of the numbers coming out of the statehouse any more. Don't you have a real job to do besides just trolling for 'misinformation' on the digital news? Is this what our taxes are for?...paying you to counter anything that doesn't meet with the Administration's approval? You're not convincing anyone.

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Angela_de_Rocha 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tom Laing’s comment on the fiscal note is misleading. The fiscal note calculation did not include “fictional variables” but did include forward projection of current inflationary trends for services. Waiver costs per member per month have increased and continue to increase. That is not a "fictional variable." That factor is what was used to determine the base expenditures. Angela de Rocha Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

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autie 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Again the state is caught in yet another lie. Angela says the funding increase is dependent on the KanCare buy in? How so? The state has also promised repeatedly that KanCare will not reduce the scope of services currently provided. So where does that money come from if they aren't planning to cut services someplace? The MCO's are in business to make money. Cutting plans is how they will do that. The state says KanCare will improve outcomes for ID/DD. What outcomes? They will not be changing supports needed. They aren't going to cure Down's syndrome or CP. Long term supports don't go away. Angela De Rocha, you are lying.

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