KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Advocates Hope Effects Of Kansas’ Austere Cuts Serve As ‘Canary In Coal Mine’ For Rest Of Country

In what Republican Gov. Sam Brownback deemed a "real-live experiment," Kansas championed a plan of deep tax cuts and severe spending cuts, and at the same time rejected Medicaid expansion. The Washington Post looks at those results.

The Washington Post: These Are The People Who Suffered When Kansas’s Conservative Experiment Failed
Suzan Emmons has done the most she can for the girls. Her small green house has bunnies in the back yard, class pictures proudly displayed on the living room wall, food in the refrigerator. She has scrimped from her annual salary of $14,000 to pay for one dance class each: tap for Elizabeth, jazz for Jaiden. But far-off political decisions have made the haven that Emmons built for them more precarious. Five years ago, she rescued Jaiden, her granddaughter, and Elizabeth, her granddaughter’s half sister, from a dangerous home. Today, she doesn't make enough money to qualify for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. She would qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare’s proposed expansion of the program, but because the Kansas governor turned down federal funds for that expansion, she doesn't qualify there either, leaving her unable to afford insurance coverage. (Swanson and Ehrenfreund, 6/14)

In other Medicaid news —

NPR: Proposed Medicaid Cuts Threaten Services For Disabled Adults
It's morning meeting time at Our Place Day Services, a day center for adults with disabilities, housed in a small concrete and glass building on Lovers Lane in Slinger, Wis. About 30 people are gathered here, around a long table, reciting the pledge of allegiance. One man paces alongside the table, another sits in a wheelchair a few feet away. There's a woman holding a baby in her lap and a friendly dog — a goldendoodle — wandering around greeting people with a sniff and a lick. (Kodjak, 6/14)

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com: Pa. Recovery Community Fearful Over GOP Medicaid Plans
[Charlene] Yurgaitis is one of more than 124,000 Pennsylvanians who depended on Medicaid to get help for their drug or alcohol addiction last year. The Republican health care bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May would reduce spending on Medicaid by more than $800 billion across 10 years. The Senate is modifying that bill but has been deliberating in secret. Deep cuts to Medicaid are expected in the Senate version of the bill, too. (Allen, 6/14)

New Hampshire Union Leader: Study: NH Among The Worst For At-Home Care Services To Aging 
New Hampshire is among the worst in the nation for spending on health care programs to keep people at home as they age, a study released today shows.New Hampshire ranked 47th of all states in Medicaid spending on home- and community-based care services, according to the 2017 Long-term Services and Supports Scorecard compiled by The Commonwealth Fund, AARP, and The SCAN Foundation. It also ranked 46th in access to these programs for new Medicaid users. (Grosky, 6/15)

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