Executive Editor, KHI News Service
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Jim McLean, Executive Editor of KHI News Service, oversees the KHI News Service. From 2005 until 2013, McLean coordinated all communications activities at KHI as Vice President for Public Affairs. The position he now occupies was created as part of a strategic initiative to solidify the editorial and operational independence of the KHI News Service. Prior to coming to KHI, McLean had a distinguished career as a journalist, serving as the news director and Statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio and a managing editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal. During his more than 20 years in Kansas journalism, McLean won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Kansas Press Association, regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. In 1997, McLean and two Capital-Journal colleagues received the Burton W. Marvin News Enterprise Award from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism for a series of stories on the state’s business climate. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washburn University.
Robert Harder, the longest-serving Cabinet secretary in Kansas history, died Saturday. He was 84. Harder served five governors - three Republicans and two Democrats - while overseeing the state welfare department and later the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In his later years he continued to advocate for the poor and disabled as a volunteer.
Representatives of AARP and Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger urged Gov. Sam Brownback to veto a bill that seeks to give states control of Medicare and Medicaid.
Poll results released today indicate that the Medicaid expansion issue could be a factor in the Kansas governor’s race. The poll, done last week for MoveOn.org Political Action, a left-leaning group dedicated to “progressive change,” showed that 52 percent of Kansans favored expanding the health care program to more low-income adults. But a spokesman for Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election said the poll results were dubious and intended to favor Democrat opponent Paul Davis.
A bill authorizing Kansas to join other states in an attempt to gain control of federal health care dollars was among several health-related measures approved by the Legislature before it adjourned Sunday.
The ways of the Kansas Legislature are a frustrating mystery to Merilyn Douglas. The advanced practice registered nurse from Garden City is part of a group that is pushing for passage of a bill that would allow APRNs to practice independently from physicians. But that push has stalled. The bill hasn’t received a hearing in either the House or Senate and it’s too late in the legislative session for any discussion to begin. “This has happened to us three years in a row,” Douglas said. “It is frustrating. It challenges your faith in the legislative process.”
Wyandotte County and a cluster of counties in the southeast corner of the state continue to rank among the least healthy places to live in Kansas, according to a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Opponents of a bill creating new restrictions for Obamacare navigators showed up in force for a hearing on the bill in a House committee. They said Senate Bill 362 would needlessly impede the navigators' work while ostensibly addressing consumer protection problems that don’t exist.
Medicaid expansion is nowhere to be found on Gov. Sam Brownback’s list of priorities and those of Republican legislative leaders as they work through a legislative session now dominated by school finance issues. But that didn’t stop nearly 200 expansion supporters from crowding into a wing of the Statehouse adjacent to the governor’s office on Tuesday for a noisy rally. The event was staged by more than 50 health care and social service organizations organized under the banner of the Kansas Medicaid Access Coalition.
The chairman of the Kansas Senate’s budget writing committee today defended the panel’s recent decision to withhold state funding for a new classroom building at the University of Kansas Medical School.
Supporters of a proposed task force to promote and accommodate the demand for locally grown foods said they were pleased the Legislature is still considering the idea but that they are concerned about the ways the panel’s members might be picked.