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New Medicaid Cuts Threaten Kansas Hospitals, Patients and Providers

Some Kansas hospitals, as well as patients and providers, could be hurt by new cuts to Medicaid taking effect July 1. (Photo by J. Schafer)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Health care analysts say Governor Sam Brownback's decision to cut money for Medicaid health coverage for the needy, disabled and elderly will add to the problems some hospitals are facing. The Wichita Eagle reports that the 4 percent budget-balancing Medicaid reimbursement cut takes effect July 1. Health care providers already had been raising concerns that the state's decision to not expand Medicaid was harming them. Currently, Kansans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but don't make enough money to qualify for federal subsidies, fall into a coverage gap. When patients are uninsured and can't pay, the hospitals get stuck with the cost. Cindy Samuelson, of the Kansas Hospital Association, says the budget is being balanced "on the shoulders of providers and patients around the state."

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