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Conference committee upholds cut in grant program for safety net clinics

Kansas Health Institute

From Kansas Health Institute; a conference committee agreed Wednesday to adopt a budget bill that cuts $378,000 from a grant program that supports safety net clinics throughout the state.

“We’re greatly disappointed,” said Denise Cyzman, executive director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, an organization that represents the 43 safety net clinics in Kansas.

“We understand they (legislators) have a tough time ahead of them,” she said. “But still, we weren’t expecting this — not after all the feedback we’d received from them about how supportive they are, about how they feel like safety net clinics are a great use of money, how we have increased numbers of patients and how, at least at this point, KanCare won’t be expanding.”

KanCare is the state’s privatized Medicaid program, and Kansas is one of 22 states that have opted to not expand Medicaid eligibility to cover more low-income adults.