Governor: Independence Hospital's Closing Won't Change Medicaid Stance

Monday, September 21st 2015, 9:47 am
By: News On 6

Governor Sam Brownback and other Kansas conservatives aren't rushing to expand Medicaid after a Montgomery County hospital announced it is closing because of insufficient funding.

Earlier this month, the Mercy Hospital System said it was closing its Independence hospital.

9/3/2015 Related Story: Independence, Kansas Hospital To Close Next Month

Mercy spokeswoman Joanne Smith says expanding would have brought the hospital about $1.6 million in additional revenue.

Kansas is one of 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  Brownback says the state doesn't have the resources to expand the program, which is getting more expensive even without expansion.

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says the problem isn't Medicaid, it's the disastrous effects Obamacare is having on the country.

The Independence hospital says it is working with its 190 employees in helping them find employment elsewhere including the transfer to other Mercy facilities. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.