Height of arrogance

KanCare officials need well crafted charm offensive

By FINN M. BULLERS
Freelance writer/editor

When a holiday guest enters your home, social etiquette Midwestern style demands your best manners — maybe a welcoming cup of pretty-strong coffee and most certainly a Scandinavian sweet.

So it came as a simple case of bad manners — not to mention poor public image creation — when for-profit, managed-care officials in Kansas snarled at “East Coast” interlopers who in December had the audacity to “parachute” into the Topeka prairie to lecture them on how to improve the care of 380,000 Kansans. Continue reading

Justice Department may probe profit over quality care

KanCare draws ‘deep concern’ from National Council on Disability

By FINN M. BULLERS
Freelance writer/editor

TOPEKA, Kan. — Big news on the Kansas managed care front could reshape the health care landscape and growing national debate on the merits of privatized, for-profit care.

In a Dec. 13 letter from the National Council on Disability, several significant and non-binding recommendations to improve the state’s for-profit Medicaid plan — also known as KanCare — were made to the President and Congress.

“It’s clear to NCD that many unresolved issues remain for people with disabilities” in Kansas, the report said. “The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should conduct an oversight review of the current administration of KanCare.” Continue reading

Advocacy is tedious, patient and lonely

But every once in a while you win: Ten tips to success

By FINN M. BULLERS
Freelance writer/editor

Instant gratification is a trait not often found in the souls of the good people who advocate for making the lives of people with disabilities better.

Fellow advocates, you know who you are.

All have embraced the hare-and-tortoise pace of change early in their disability civil-rights’ careers. And know that steady wins the race.

Advocacy is behind-the-scenes, unheralded, long-hours work that generally doesn’t get you on the evening news. It’s early morning trips to the state capitol or cramped flights to D.C. to meet with congressional leaders whose only goal is to get a picture with a person in a wheelchair. Continue reading

Showdown over the shutdown

How our elected leaders are screwing disabled Americans

By FINN M. BULLERS
Reliance writer/editor

Just got this ironic email a few moments ago from the President’s National Council on Disability.

I was scheduled to testify in Topeka on Tuesday (Oct. 8) on my experience with KanCare, the managed-care program in Kansas that puts insurance companies in the driver’s seat over doctor’s orders for me and 379,999 other Sunflower state health care recipients.

No longer is that the case. This is not just a Kansas story, but a cautionary tale for the nation’s disability community. Here’s the email in my in box: Continue reading

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