Enews January 25, 2018

For January 25th eNews Next Step KC 2018 Community Tax Day

Today is the Last Day to Submit Concerns about KanCare 2.0

The federal government is accepting public comment on KanCare 2.0.  Alliance for a Healthy Kansas has a link to register your concerns:http://www.expandkancare.com/a/kancare-2-0-is-not-ready-for-prime-time/
Earlier this month, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Chairwoman Vicki Schmidt, and Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn expressed concerns with the implementation of KanCare 2.0
"After careful consideration regarding the discussion that took place during the Public Health and Welfare Committee, we are hesitant to move forward with KanCare 2.0.  We believe there is still work to do to stabilize KanCare 1.0 and that there is no certain path forward for KanCare 2.0 at this time."
Areas of concern included meeting the needs of mental and behavioral health, as well as eligibility through the clearinghouse and providers capacity to serve Kansans.
UCS submitted testimony during recent hearings on KanCare 2.0, noting that adding work requirements for Medicaid in the KanCare 2.0 renewal application creates an undue burden on the most vulnerable population and are counterproductive.  Lessons learned from other state programs demonstrate that work requirement policies do little to help people find and keep work and, in fact, are ineffective at connecting people to living-wage jobs that provide affordable health insurance.   Unfortunately, work requirements and lifetime limits are still components of  the proposed KanCare 2.0.

January 26th is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day - See How the EITC Helps Your Neighbors in Johnson County

The state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) makes sound fiscal sense for the state of Kansas. The EITC works with the federal credit to reduce poverty by boosting income, encouraging work, and helping working people stay off public assistance.
A significant body of research shows that the EITC gets and keeps people working, reduces poverty and reduces the use of public assistance. Families receiving EITC demonstrate:
  • Improved infant and maternal health
  • Better school performance
  • Greater college enrollment
  • Increased work and earnings for the next generation
  • Increased Social Security benefits due to greater employment and earnings
The Kansas EITC provides low- and moderate-income families with a needed income boost that can help them meet basic needs and cover the cost of child care and transportation, expenses that help recipients find and keep a job.  In the nine Kansas Senate districts that represent all or portions of Johnson County, more than 32,000 tax filers receive EITC according to data compiled by the Kansas Center for Economic Growth.  Click here to view the EITC data in your legislative district.
NOTE:  This Saturday, January 27th is Community Tax Day, brought to you by Next Step KC and United Way of Greater Kansas City.  The event will be held at Connecting for Good and is the earliest opportunity for low-and-moderate income taxpayers to receive tax preparation services from an IRS-Certified Volunteer.  Click here for more information or call United Way 2-1-1 or (816) 474-5112.

Medicaid Suspension Bill Received Hearing This Week

Under current law in Kansas, Medicaid benefits are terminated for qualified residents who are admitted to residential mental health hospitals or incarcerated in juvenile or adult correctional facilities. The process to reinstate benefits can take weeks or months which puts at risk people who need continuous care after release.
Advocates have worked on a bill with legislators to suspend instead of terminate Medicaid benefit coverage during residential mental health treatment or incarceration, helping to promote successful re-entry into the community.  The Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on SB 195 this past Tuesday.

Make A Donation: Giving to honor our past and prepare for our future is a great way to help us celebrate 50 years and those who have served our community through UCS.  We are happy to offer this easy online giving option.

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