The cost of cuts: Special reports from the Kansas Health Institute, Part 3

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson says the state faces its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — and it’s not over. While

we’re waiting to see how the math whizzes in the state legislature deal with the problem, the journalists at the Kansas Health Institute are doing some great reporting on how state budget cuts are likely to hurt real people. So far, we’ve recommended Dave Ranney‘s stories “Waiting lists for state services expected to grow” and “Man wants out of nursing home.” Here’s another excerpt from Ranney’s series.

OLATHE — About five years ago, Leslie Debrabander invited a woman from Johnson County Developmental Services to her home to talk about the possibility of getting services for her daughter.

Abby Debrabander, then age 5, has multiple physical and developmental disabilities.

“We talked about Abby and the services she would need and what was available,” Debrabander said. “When we were through I asked her when she thought we’d get started and she said it would probably be seven or seven and a half years. I couldn’t believe it.”

Debrabander said she, her husband, or their two daughters, ages 15 and 12, must be with Abby, now 10, at all times.

Medicaid-funded in-home services would help them keep Abby in their home rather than placing her in a state hospital.

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