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Via Christi Leader Says Lack Of Medicaid Expansion Hurting State Health Care

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Via Christi
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The CEO of Kansas’ largest health care system is renewing his call for Medicaid expansion.

Jeff Korsmo runs the Via Christi health system. It operates hospitals in Wichita, Manhattan, Pittsburg and Wamego.

Korsmo says the health care system is initiating cost-cutting measures because its revenues are running behind projections two months into the budget year.

“Despite strong patient volumes overall, we’re $3.3 million below our budget," he says, "and a significant part of the shortfall we believe the lack of expansion of Medicaid.”

Korsmo says the state’s “failure” to expand Medicaid eligibility to more low-income adults has cost Via Christi $28 million over the past two years.

Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders have blocked expansion, which is part of the controversial Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

But Korsmo says the pending closure of the hospital in the southeast Kansas community of Independence and the financial struggles of other hospitals are prompting some lawmakers to rethink their positions on the issue.