Poor, disabled lack place at the table

disabled3The National Council on Disability got an earful when it held meetings last week in Topeka. Disabled individuals and their advocates complained about cuts in services and payment problems after the state privatized Medicaid this year. State officials responded that standards of care haven’t changed under KanCare; it’s just that the private insurance companies are doing a better job enforcing those standards. But Tom Laing, executive director of InterHab, an association for developmentally disabled individuals and their service providers, voiced the concern that many have felt: that the poor and the disabled are helping pay for Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts. “It’s a little bit of a game,” he said, “and the loser in the game tend to be the people who are not at the table.”