Jan 14, 2020 12:00 AM

Planned Parenthood in Kansas challenges payment cutoff

Posted Jan 14, 2020 12:00 AM
Planned Parenthood in Overland Park -photo Kansas News Service
Planned Parenthood in Overland Park -photo Kansas News Service

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Planned Parenthood is challenging Missouri's denial of claims for Medicaid payments for a second time in two years.

Planned Parenthood’s affiliates in Overland Park, Kansas, appealed Missouri's cutoff of their fiscal 2020 funding last week in Jackson County, Missouri, after an administrative law judge ruled against them last month.

Meanwhile, an appeal of the cutoff of 2019 funding is pending before the Missouri Supreme Court.

“It’s kind of a continuation of the same old song and dance,” said Charles Hatfield, Planned Parenthood’s attorney.

Republican lawmakers in Missouri have for years sought to stop any taxpayer money from going to Planned Parenthood, even clinics that do not provide abortions.

But legislators struggled with “loopholes" that allowed Planned Parenthood clinics that provide other healthcare to continue receiving funding. Abortion opponents finally succeeded by blocking money to any facility affiliated with others that perform abortions.

Lawmakers were able to stop money from going to Planned Parenthood by forgoing some federal funding to avoid requirements that the clinics be reimbursed if low-income patients go there for birth control, cancer screenings and other preventative care. Missouri instead now uses state money to pay for those services.

Planned Parenthood argues that some of its chapters provide preventative health care and not abortion, and therefore shouldn't be financially penalized.

In all, the state has withheld roughly $1 million from Planned Parenthood over the past two fiscal years.

Planned Parenthood has 12 clinics in Missouri, but only one of them performs abortions. That St. Louis clinic is the state's only remaining abortion clinic and is in a battle with state regulators over its license. No ruling on the license is expected before late February.

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Jan 14, 2020 12:00 AM
The Latest: Kansas man injured in knife attack has died
Prager photo Sedgwick County

SEDGWICK COUNTY — The man critically injured in an aggravated knife attack in Wichita has died, according to police captain Brent Allred.

Just after 5p.m. January 11, police responded to an assault call at a home in the 200 block of North Spruce in Wichita, according to officer Charley Davidson.

Upon arrival, police found a 19-year-old man identified as Vincent Venturella with a severe laceration to his neck. Investigators learned that 24-year-old Morgan Prager  of Pittsburg, Kansas arrived at the residence. He and the Venturella were involved in a dispute over an ex-girlfriend and a sister, according to Davidson.

Prager cut Venturella and fled from the home. Wichita police coordinated efforts with police in Pittsburg to arrest Prager and bring him back to Wichita, according to Davidson.

Venturella died Monday night.  Prager is being held on a $250,000 bond on a requested charge of first-degree murder, according to online jail records.

The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney.

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SEDGWICK COUNTY — Law enforcement authorities are investigating a Kansas man for alleged attempted murder.

Just after 5p.m. January 11, police responded to an assault call at a home in the 200 block of North Spruce in Wichita, according to officer Charley Davidson.

Upon arrival, police found a 19-year-old man with a severe laceration to his neck. Investigators learned that 24-year-old Morgan Prager  of Pittsburg, Kansas arrived at the residence. He and the victim were involved in a dispute over an ex-girlfriend and a sister, according to Davidson.

Prager cut the victim and fled from the home. Wichita police coordinated efforts with police in Pittsburg to arrest Prager and bring him back to Wichita, according to Davidson.

The victim remains hospitalized late Monday morning. The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney.