Opinion Columns & Blogs

Is state going to bat for local hospitals?

Lt. Gov Jeff Colyer contended in a commentary in the Salina Journal that the Affordable Care Act is harming rural and critical-access hospitals and that expanding Medicaid “is not the panacea some want you to believe.” ACA reduced payments to hospitals that serve low-income uninsured patients, with the expectation that many of these patients would be joining Medicaid. But Kansas has refused to allow a federal expansion of Medicaid, so hospitals are experiencing a funding cut without the offsetting benefit of expanded insurance coverage. Tom Bell, president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association, which supports Medicaid expansion, noted in another commentary that local communities are going to bat to preserve access to health care. He then asked: “Can we say the same thing for the state of Kansas?” – Phillip Brownlee