Rallying for KanCare expansion in Topeka

WICHITA, Kansas — While hundreds of Kansans attended a committee meeting Wednesday in Topeka, arguing for Medicaid expansion, one Andover family remains uncertain about current Medicaid assistance for people living with disabilities.

KSN first sat down with Coe Gentry and his parents in August 2014.

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Coe Gentry participates in the state’s ‘Working Healthy’ Medicaid program.
Coe Gentry participates in the state’s ‘Working Healthy’ Medicaid program.

Coe is now 28. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and mild Cerebral Palsy. Coe is also one of a few hundred people with disabilities in Kansas who participate in the state’s ‘Working Healthy’ Medicaid program.

When KSN first met Coe, KanCare threatened to take away important staffing hours Coe’s family says he needs to function.

“Why would you take hours away from, like, special needs groups? Isn’t that something that you don’t want to do?” asked Coe.

“They don’t want my son to have health care or the underprivileged to have health care,” said Linden Gentry, Coe’s mother.

Although Coe’s mother is fighting for Medicaid expansion in Kansas, she believes the future of Medicaid in the state is uncertain.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I’m scared to death.”

KSN speaks with Linden Gentry, Coe's mother, about Medicaid expansion.
KSN speaks with Linden Gentry, Coe’s mother, about Medicaid expansion.

Like the approximate 200 people who attended Wednesday’s Health and Human Services committee meeting in Topeka righting for Medicaid expansion, Coe and his family say they will continue fighting for care.

“We’re just trying to get those people covered, enable them to get the services they need, and enable health care providers that are already providing services for a lot of these folks to be able to get paid something for doing that,” explained Sheldon Weisgrau, the director for the Health Reform Resource Project.

KanCare, however, does have its supporters.

“On Medicaid and KanCare, I am really pleasantly surprised,” said Celia Chace in August 2014. “[They] want me to get the help that I need, and they really do.”

Critics of Medicaid Expansion will testify in front of the same committee Thursday in Topeka.

For more information about the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, visit this link.

To learn more about the Working Healthy Medicaid Buy-In Program, click here.

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