Costs From Agency' Name Changes Rile Kansas Lawmaker

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Democrat in the Kansas House is criticizing Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's reorganization of state social service agencies because new names for two departments come with a projected $220,000 cost.

The reorganization took effect this week. It's part of Brownback's larger effort to overhaul the state's $2.9 billion-a-year Medicaid program, which covers health care for the poor, disabled and needy.

The administration contends the overhaul, which turns the program's management over to private insurance companies, will result in better-coordinated care and save more than $1 billion over five years.

But Rep. Sean Gatewood, a Topeka Democrat, is skeptical of those projections. He said Friday that even if the Medicaid overhaul makes the program less costly, he questions whether the state needed to rename two agencies, creating additional administrative expenses.

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