Praeger advocates expansion of Medicaid to 150K Kansans

A former Kansas insurance commissioner Wednesday said the financial struggle of Kansas hospitals and the state’s tradition of providing meager Medicaid coverage to its poorest residents were persuasive arguments in favor of expanding the national health program to 150,000 more people.
Sandy Praeger, a Lawrence Republican who led the state’s insurance department for a dozen years, said there were no legitimate arguments against broadening Medicaid eligibility under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The reforms adopted by nearly two-thirds of U.S. states will improve medical outcomes and strengthen the bottom line of clinics and hospitals in Kansas, she said.
A blockade on Medicaid expansion by Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP legislative allies has cost the state’s hospitals an estimated $1.4 billion in federal funding since 2014, Praeger said during a forum at Topeka’s YWCA.
“We have a big gap in coverage,” said Praeger, who believes opposition to be based on political sentiment …
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