Cape Girardeau, MO – Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder filed a personal legal challenge to the federal health care overhaul law today in Cape Girardeau.
The state of Missouri is not suing the federal government. Rather, Kinder is bringing the lawsuit as a private citizen and in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor. He is relying on private donors to fund the challenge, though he did not specify his contributors.
Topkea, KS – Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson returned from a trip to Washington D.C. recently, where he and a coalition of governors urged Congress to extend federal payments that help support the Medicaid program.
The joint state/federal health program benefits aged, low-income and disabled Kansans.
Federal stimulus legislation has helped pay a bigger chunk of the program in recent years than usual. State lawmakers have assumed that would be extended, and built the funding into the state budget for this fiscal year.
Kansas City, MO – For the many people who have pre-existing conditions and struggle to get health coverage, some relief is supposed to come today. July 1st marks the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' start-date for new high risk insurance pools. But in Kansas, like many other states (including Missouri), the pool isn't ready yet. And once it is up and running, it's still going to be quite limited. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger recently spoke with KCUR's Elana Gordon about the situation and what's accounting for the delay.
Salinas, KS – A Wichita-area doctor and his wife have been convicted of illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them. More from Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson.
Kansas City, MO – Psychologists, in-home care providers for the disabled, and drug abuse counselors in Missouri are facing a two percent payment reduction from the state. Last week, Governor Jay Nixon announced the move as part of a response to declining revenues.
Alan Flory is head of Rediscover, a community mental health center in Jackson County. He says there's no simple answer to the state's fiscal situation, but he says the reduction now means Rediscover will have less ability to respond to people in need of immediate help.
Kansas City, MO – Dr. Jasper Fullard founded the Black Health Care Coalition in the mid eighties. The coalition's addressed health disparities and worked to improve access to health services and preventative education throughout the metro area. Now, after three decades of practicing internal medicine in Kansas City, Dr. Fullard is retiring. KCUR's Elana Gordon brings us this profile.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Kansas City, MO – Some major changes are coming to the U.S. health care system. For one, the health care overhaul passed by congress this year is supposed to expand coverage. But for immigrants trying to access health care in Kansas City and around the country, big obstacles remain.
Springfield, Missouri – For families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, it's been a long time coming. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a bill that requires insurance companies regulated by the state to provide coverage to children with autism. KSMU's Jennifer Moore attended the bill-signing press conference in Springfield yesterday and has this report.
Jefferson City, MO – Mental Health officials in Missouri are awaiting word if Governor Jay Nixon will cut their budget even more than lawmakers did this year.
Of the $484 million lawmakers cut from the state budget in April, nearly $26 million came from the Department of Mental Health, which oversees programs dealing with psychiatric health, drug and alcohol abuse, and Medicaid patients.
Kansas City, Mo. – More babies are making it to the full nine-month term in Kansas City. But experts aren't sure why.
Between 1990 and 2006, the rate of pre-term births escalated in Kansas City and around the country. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that rates are now starting to finally go down.
The pre-term birth rate in Kansas City, Missouri dropped by almost two percentage points between 2005 and 2008.
Kansas City, Mo. – About 1.6 million Missourians struggle to understand information about their health. As a result, area health leaders are launching a new initiative to improve health literacy across the state.
The nonprofit group, Health Literacy Missouri, is leading the project. Arthur Culbert is the group's president and says misunderstandings about health care are far too common.
"How many times have you seen a doctor and you walk out and it's like, 'I'm not really sure what he said,'" Culbert says.
Kansas City, Mo. – Federal health officials arrive at the Banister Federal Complex today, the latest part of an ongoing investigation of possible hazards inside the General Services Administration's (GSA's) side of the complex. It's the first time health officials have been called in.
Kansas City, Mo. – Much of the recently passed federal health reform law won't be implemented for several years. But one measure targeting young adults could take effect as early as next week. That's especially good news for college graduates. But the new change may not be as widespread in Kansas City as in other places.
Topkea, Kan. – The number of Kansans without health insurance is expected to drop by 190,000 when the new health care law is fully implemented, starting in 2014. A study released this week shows who will pick up the tab for that expanded coverage. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains.
Kansas City, Mo. – The new federal health law includes changes to insurance rules that could affect as many as a quarter of Missourians.
About 1.2 million people between the ages 18 and 64 have a diagnosed health condition in Missouri. That's according to a new study from the national consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., which recently analyzed data from government surveys.
Kansas City, Mo. – Many in the health and pharmaceutical industries believe that the greatest possibilities for indigenous knowledge in mainstream society may come from natural healing remedies. Commonly used herbal remedies like aloe vera for burns, St. John's wort for depression and valerian root for insomnia are proven not just by clinical trials, but by thousands of years of traditional use.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.
The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.
GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.
The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.
Kansas City, Mo. – Several area health providers as well as MAST are bracing for funding reductions from the city.
The Kansas City council is scheduled to vote today on about $3.5 million in cuts to area safety net providers. The city currently gives funds to places like Truman Medical Center and Swope Health Center by drawing from a special property tax that voters approved back in 2005.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A majority of home care workers in Missouri have voted in favor of union representation. The results were announced today in Jefferson City, with about 60% of the state's home care workers voting to unionize. The workers provide various services for people who are homebound, such as transportation, shopping, cooking and bathing.
The Kansas Board of Regents heard a report about plans for the KU School of Medicine to expand its medical training programs in Salina and Wichita.
KUMC Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Barbara Atkinson told the regents that once the expansion plans likely pass the accreditation process later this year, the KU School of Medicine will be able to take a major step in addressing the shortage of rural primary care physicians in Kansas.
Kansas City, Mo. – Local pediatrician Frank Vaughters was on a medical mission in Haiti when the massive earthquake struck the country in January. After weeks of uncertainty, friends and family received word that his remains have been found. His sister, Lucy Vaughters, says the news has brought some welcomed relief.
"There's some kind of feeling of finality," Vaughters says. "And the truth is a good thing, even though the truth is awful in this case."
Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas legislature has approved a bill requiring autism coverage for state employees.
Senator Tim Owens is an Overland Park Republican who has two grandsons with autism. He says the bill's passage marks a big step forward.
"The state program is a very narrow program of individuals who are involved," says Owens. "But, I would hope that we can move faster than a year or two before that test case proves the value, and then we can open it up to the other families."