The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) recently held a series of informational forums to gather input on the renewal of the KanCare program. Testimony from stakeholders was not accepted, but Sheldon Weisgrau of the Health Reform Resource Project prepared a written statement. Weisgrau called KanCare “dysfunctional” but noted that expansion is the only way to fix the state’s Medicaid program:
The KanCare enrollment system is plagued by backlogs, delays, poor customer service, and other hurdles that seem to be designed to discourage participation. Enrollment problems are so pervasive that the Topeka Capitol-Journal ran an extensive expose of the issue on May 21.
KanCare is in desperate need of resources to solve the administrative problems that plague it. For this reason, we should not entertain renewal of the program without having a full and open discussion about KanCare expansion. This is a discussion that the people of Kansas want, but has been resisted by the Administration and the legislature. Now is the time.
KanCare expansion will be almost entirely funded by the federal government. It will bring billions of dollars to the state that will allow us to finally get KanCare right. Expansion in Kansas can be expected to generate jobs, revenue, and budget savings, as it has in other states. It will help make providers that have been hurt by administrative dysfunction whole again. It is a sound investment in Kansas and for Kansans.