Hundreds Rally Over Kansas Gov.'s Medicaid Overhaul | KCUR

Hundreds Rally Over Kansas Gov.'s Medicaid Overhaul

Apr 25, 2012

Hundreds of developmentally disabled Kansas residents and advocates for them have rallied at the Statehouse against part of Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to overhaul the state's Medicaid program.

Participants in Wednesday's rally don't want services for the developmentally disabled included when the state turns management of its $2.9 billion-a-year Medicaid program over to three private companies.

Tom Laing with the group InterHab says the current system is working well.

"The introduction of three new partners, all of whom are out-of-state insurance companies, seems to complicate and make the administration more complex than it has ever been," Laing said. "And that'll be costly, and that'll be disruptive."

The administration plans to issue contracts this summer. Medicaid covers health care for the poor, elderly and disabled. The rally's participants created a temporary display of personal objects on the Statehouse's south steps to urge the administration to change its plans.

House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, an Olathe Republican, said he'll introduce a proposal this week to delay including long-term care for the developmentally disabled in the contracts for a year.