The Brownback-Colyer Administration’s statement that it will “stop” KanCare 2.0 clarifies little about the path forward or how the existing KanCare program will be repaired. One of the defining elements of KanCare 2.0, a requirement that some enrollees work in order to receive health coverage, apparently remains. This requirement would create costly and burdensome administrative red tape for enrollees, providers, and businesses and will still require federal approval. Even then, its legality is in question – the federal Department of Health and Human Services has just been sued over similar requirements recently approved in Kentucky. It is unclear how the Administration proposes to pay for these additional administrative burdens and the lengthy and costly legal process likely to follow. In fact, how the administration plans to pay for any changes to KanCare remains a mystery.
“Rather than confuse and complicate the situation, the Administration should officially withdraw KanCare 2.0 from federal consideration and get to work with enrollees, families, and other partners on improving the current KanCare program.”