Opinion Columns & Blogs

Medicaid expansion shouldn’t be linked to waiting lists

Rep. Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, said at a forum in Wichita Tuesday that he believes Gov. Sam Brownback is sincere in wanting the state to eliminate waiting lists for services for disabled Kansans before it considers expanding Medicaid – even though the two issues are unrelated. But Joe O’Rourke, president and CEO of New Beginnings Enterprise in Neodesha, isn’t buying it. “It’s just barriers he’s set up to make sure it (expansion) will never be achieved,” O’Rourke told the Kansas Health Institute News Service. Tim Wood, who formerly ran a campaign for the Disability Rights Center of Kansas dedicated to eliminating the lists, said no disability group supports elimination of the waiting lists as a condition of expansion. “Never,” Wood said. “No one has ever said that.” – Phillip Brownlee