It isn't often that Kansas gets to take a lap around the track as the clear #1 in the entire United States of states where the lack of insurance is on the increase. There hasn't been a press release or a call to the podium in Topeka yet - though there is still time left tonight after the primary voting is done. Kansas, it seems can lay claim to something unique - while other states decreased their uninsured, Kansas led the nation in increasing the rate of uninsured residents.
There you go. Everyone else in the nation is moving to have more individuals insured, but Kansas tends is the leader - a true leader in ongoing efforts to increase the rate of uninsured within our state.
A bit unfair to claim that the state is the one helping to increase the rate of uninsured? Read on.
The rate at which Huffington Post discusses at length is the rate at which individuals in the state have any insurance. Of course, with medicaid expansion that number would change significantly. That, however, doesn't mean that meddling within other policies has caused more Kansans to lose their insurance as it stands.
Beginning Jan. 1, Salina Regional Health Center will not accept Medicaid patients who receive their benefits through United Health Care, one of three providers in the state.That's right. The state's managed program - called Kancare has been controversial enough in it's takeover and privatization of medicare spending that some hospitals have had to opt out of taking MEDICARE.
Tom Bell, executive director of governmental and public relations for the hospital, said the hospital has signed contracts for 2014 with the two other KanCare providers -- AmeriGroup and Sunflower Health Plan -- but couldn't come to terms with United.
"We tried to get the same terms we had with Sunflower and AmeriGroup, and we couldn't," Bell said. "There were technical aspects of reimbursements that we couldn't get together on. We've worked on getting a contract for most of this year."
Because the state is mailing out its annual enrollment packets to individuals starting today, allowing Medicaid recipients to pick among the three providers, Bell said the hospital is trying to spread the word that it won't accept United's plans in 2014.
But would this have other impacts on Kansas? Of course. Things got sticky with KanCare early as the participating groups began paying providers late - sometimes very late.
More than a dozen individuals and consumer organizations testified to the oversight committee regarding grievances or praise for KanCare.http://cjonline.com/...
"Prior to KanCare implementation," said Karen Hastert, of Newman Regional Hospital in Emporia, "our processes were efficient and effective. It is disappointing to have little to no control over an issue that is so significantly impacting productivity and cash collections."
Bob Finuf, vice president at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, said one in five patients at Children's Mercy were enrolled in Medicaid and the health care provider delivered $340 million annually in treatment to Medicaid consumers in Kansas.
He said the hospital's accounts receivable balances topping 90 days increased 130 percent under KanCare in 2013. Children's Mercy provided more services last year with an expectation of a 9 percent increase in payments, he said, but actual payments decreased 6 percent.
But don't worry of course. Kansas knows that we're #1 in the uninsured and we're busy making more people who should be on some sort of supplemental insurance feel as though they have no insurance (or that their insurance that replaced Medicare is now not accepted in hospitals because it doesn't pay)
With compelling evidence in front of them, now would be the time for a switch in paths, right?
TOPEKA — The same groups that used the wedge issue of Obamacare to unseat moderate Republican senators two years ago are targeting several House members for defeat in Tuesday’s GOP primary.
But this time around, their efforts are being countered by groups that have organized to reverse the recent conservative tide in Kansas politics. The Kansas Values Institute and the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority are spending tens of thousands of dollars to defend moderate Republican Statehouse incumbents against charges that they failed to support conservative-led efforts to transfer control of federal health care programs to the state, block Medicaid expansion and repeal the state’s renewable energy standards.
The Kansas Chamber and the Koch Industries-backed group Americans for Prosperity are the main players in the effort, just as they were in 2012 when they succeeded in defeating Senate President Steve Morris and several other moderate GOP state senators. They are supporting Neil Melton, a Prairie Village banker, against Bollier; Jennifer Flood, a software consultant from Overland Park, against Clayton; Bob Fluke, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party from Ottawa, against Finch; Stan Rice, a marketing director for a rural telephone and cable company who lives in Lakin, against Jennings; Jeremy Ryan Pierce, from Lawrence, against Sloan; and, Chad VanHouden, from Chanute, against Thompson.The Kochs, AfP and others have shown they are willing to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in a primary, and millions in a general to work to give Kansans a new slogan:
“It’s not about advocating the election or defeat of certain candidates, it’s about getting our issues out,” said Jeff Glendening, director of AFP-Kansas. “That’s what we did back in 2012. We were able to get our issues out about why free markets work, why we need limited government in the state and why some of those people, like Senate President Steve Morris and others, weren’t supportive of limited government policies.”
The chamber’s political action committee has spent nearly $197,000 since January to support the legislative candidates it has endorsed, according to reports filed with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. As a nonprofit educational organization, AFP isn’t required to file campaign finance reports, and Glendening declined to say how much the organization had spent in the primary
We're #1 at getting you Uninsured!
I'm sure the chant that goes along with it will sound better.