http://www.helpersinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/helpersinclogo-340x100.png 0 0 Stacy Jones http://www.helpersinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/helpersinclogo-340x100.png Stacy Jones2013-01-28 14:41:402013-01-28 14:41:40January 28, 2013 Legislative Update
January 28, 2013Your Monday Morning Update:A couple of weeks ago, the Governor gave his third State of the State Address and delivered histwo year budget plan to the Legislature. The result was not a surprise to anyone. It supported a tightening of the belt by about four notches.I quickly found the line item related to funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Optimist that I am, I was sure that the Governor had followed the recommendation of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, by allocating additional funding. What I saw was devastating!We took a small CUT…two years’ worth! This is the first cut in a very long time!
- There are nearly 8,000 on the State’s HCBS I/DD waiver.
- There are around 5,000 people on the I/DD waiver waiting list.
- The last folks to be offered funding had requested services for Mid-May of 2007.
- The waiting list grows between 250 – 300 folks per year.I’m no mathematician, but if the Governor’s budget is supported, anyone requesting services after late May of 2007 will be waiting (at least) until late 2015!Enough said…Last Wednesday, a joint meeting of both Senate and House committees on Health and Welfarewas held. The topic was KanCare.
- The two committees are working on a KanCare Legislative Oversight bill. KanCare is a nearly $3,500,000,000 (yes… bi
llion) program handed over to three Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s). Call me crazy, but Legislative oversight makes sense.
- The I/DD Pilot Project has been tweaked and is about ready to fly. The administration will release public details as early as this week.
- Presentations from the administrators of the three KanCare MCO’s, and James Bart, the KanCare Ombudsman, reported that things are going pretty well and issues are being resolved. I believe everyone is working very hard to make things work.Enough said…Two things we need to consider:
- The Governor’s budget is not set in stone. The Legislature holds the power of the purse. We must INSIST that our legislators prioritize funding for the HCBS/DD waiver. The Social Service Budget Committee may start having hearings next week on this issue. Does the waiting list affect you? If you are interested in testifying, please let me know.
- We are behind the eight ball. It is imperative that we work together to get the DD long term care waiver excluded from KanCare.We all know there is safety in numbers, so let’s be of one mind. Together we can make a difference.Warm regards,Lurena MeadJCDS Community Relations Manager