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Carve out care for developmentally disabled Kansans

For months, Kansans with developmental disabilities have protested the inclusion of their long-term care in the Brownback administration's plan to privatize Medicaid. They've begged lawmakers to help stop this. So they were profoundly disappointed last week when the House blocked an amendment by Rep. Jim Ward (in photo), D-Wichita, to "carve out" such care from the reform. Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, and others kept Ward's amendment from coming to a floor vote by getting the underlying bill sent back to committee. Ward was flabbergasted. "Incredible," he said on the House floor. "This bill was introduced in January. I spent 60 days cajoling, arguing, persuading, begging the chairman of Health and Human Services (Landwehr) to have a hearing on the bill." Ward added later, "Now they come and say, 'Oh my gosh, we need to send it back to committee.'"