Opinion Columns & Blogs

Provider tax could be better than Medicaid cuts

The day after his administration canceled five public meetings aimed at gathering reaction to the imposition of a 4 percent cut to Medicaid providers, Gov. Sam Brownback announced last week that he wants to reverse the cut. Instead, he wants to increase a provider tax on hospitals. The move could be better than the reimbursement cut, because it would allow the state to draw federal funding. But it is a Band-Aid on the real problem, which is the state’s loss of revenue due to excessive tax cuts. Kansas collected nearly $600 million less in tax revenue this past fiscal year than it did in 2013. Also, if Brownback really wants to help hospitals and low-income Kansans, he would reverse his opposition to Medicaid expansion. – Phillip Brownlee