Kansas City Week in Review connects the dots this Friday, January 10 at 7:30 pm on one of the most important issues playing out in both Topeka and Jefferson City as they launch their legislative sessions this week: The Medicaid Gap. These are the people living below the poverty level, yet ineligible to qualify for free health care under the state’s Medicaid program and too poor to pay for subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act. There are 85,000 people in the gap in Kansas, 193,000 in Missouri.
KMUW Wichita Publis Radio: Kansans Continue Push For Medicaid Expansion
KHI News Service related coverage:
Advocates in each state taking similar tacks in hopes of coaxing reluctant Republican policymakers
By Phil Cauthon, Jim McLean and Mike Sherry
KHI News Service
TOPEKA — The political dynamics are a bit different in Kansas than in Missouri, but in both states supporters of expanded Medicaid programs are taking the same tack in hopes of persuading reluctant Republican policymakers to eliminate the so-called “Medicaid gap” that is leaving more than 340,000 low-income Kansans and Missourians without health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act, as written, would have expanded Medicaid in every state, including Missouri and Kansas where the eligibility restrictions are relatively tight. But the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that expansion was a decision for each state to make on its own.
Kansas and Missouri are among the 24 states that so far have chosen against broadening the program, despite entreaties from hospitals, doctors, consumer advocates and others.
Kansas, led by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and a GOP-dominated Legislature, is expected to reconsider the issue in the weeks ahead.
In Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has been urging the Republican-controlled General Assembly to do the same.
In this package of stories, KHI News Service looks at the latest developments in each state as their legislatures prepare to convene 2014 sessions.
Also included are profiles of families in each state that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid as it is currently configured, but too little for the subsidies intended to help people (earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of federal poverty guidelines) buy private health coverage through the new marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.
Stories in this package
→ Kansas hospitals leading new push for Medicaid expansion
→ Profiles of the coverage gap: Kathleen Christian
→ MO Medicaid expansion advocates hope summer work yields compromise
→ Single mom in KCMO seeks benefit of preventive care
→ Challenger says Brownback owes voters a decision on Medicaid expansion
→ KS Senate president says Medicaid expansion unlikely to gain approval this session
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. The News Service is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy-making environment. More about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 233-5443.
Your Annual Handy-Dandy Guide to the Upcoming Legislative Sessions in Kansas and Missouri
Missouri lawmakers returned to Jefferson City on Wednesday. Kansas state lawmakers return to Topeka on Monday. We track the top 5 issues you need to keep an eye on in both state capitals.
Kansas welfare rolls shrink by half
A new report reveals that the number of Kansans on welfare has plummeted to an average of 18,844 a month. That’s less than half the 38,963 a month when Governor Sam Brownback took office at the start of 2011. Have they all found new jobs or is something else at play?
Macy’s to close at Metcalf South
The end of an era for the Overland Park based shopping mall. Eighty-eight local jobs will be lost. Macy’s plans to close its Metcalf South Mall location along with four other stores across the U.S. as part of a cost reduction program. A clearance sale at the Overland Park department store starts Monday.
Why critics of Kansas City’s new streetcar line are incensed that city officials are heading to Spain on a tax funded trip to see how streetcars are working there.
New $17.5 million housing complex for KU Basketball players
It’s a front page story that’s raising eyebrows this week. But university athletic officials are adamant they need this to recruit top players. But are students and taxpayers being fouled in the process?
Laying to rest R. Crosby Kemper, Jr.
Around 900 people attended a public service for the prominent banker, civic leader and philanthropist before a private burial on Thursday. Though the 6-foot-7 Kemper was physically imposing, he was remembered for his caring side. We discovered his soft side during his last interview on KCPT in 2006 when he burst into song while interacting with a viewer on our Talkback Live program…
This week’s news reviewers:
Barbara Shelly, Kansas City Star
Jim McLean, KHI News Service
Sam Zeff, KCPT Special Correspondent
Dave Helling, Kansas City Star