Legislators from Topeka slam governor’s Medicaid expansion veto at forum
With the fate of Topeka’s St. Francis Health Center in doubt, members of Shawnee County’s legislative delegation spoke critically at a panel discussion Saturday about Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a proposal to expand Medicaid in Kansas.
Kansas Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka, held up a copy of an article in Saturday’s Topeka Capital-Journal that revealed the 378-bed hospital could be closed by its Denver owners, SCL Health, who have been unable to secure a deal with potential buyers. SCL said last May that a lack of Medicaid expansion in Kansas was among reasons for its decision to seek buyers.
Miller recalled that the century-old Mercy Hospital closed in 2015 at Independence in southeast Kansas, where officials suggested Medicaid expansion would have helped the facility survive.
“It’s not just politics,” Miller said. “It’s real. A hospital in Independence has already closed and devastated a community.”