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Advocates For Disabled Kansans: Services Suffering Under KanCare

Jim McLean
Gary Blumenthal, left, a former Kansas legislator and current member of the National Council on Disability, listens to testimony at a forum on Medicaid managed care alongside Clyde Terry, who helped moderate the meeting Tuesday at the Kansas Statehouse.

Advocates for Kansans with disabilities say the state's privatized Medicaid system is too often failing the people it's supposed to serve. They aired their complaints yesterday during a hearing in Topeka, hosted by the National Council on Disability.

They say the for-profit companies running the KanCare program seem more interested in saving money than providing needed services.

Rosie Cooper, director of the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living, was one of the advocates who testified at a hearing in Topeka yesterday. She claims a family that wanted to testify was threatened by one of the KanCare companies.

State officials acknowledge that improvements are needed but say, overall, KanCare is working well. Yesterday's hearing was held by the National Council on Disability, which is looking into how Medicaid is being managed in several states and how persons with disabilities are being affected.

Jim McLean is a reporter with KHI News Service.