Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free Exercise Challenge To Kansas Medicaid Rules Argued

The Kansas City Star reports on an interesting free exercise challenge to Kansas' Medicaid rules argued in the Kansas Court of Appeals on Tuesday. Mary Stinemetz, a Jehovah's Witness, needs a liver transplant. Kansas will pay for the surgery if performed at the University of Kansas Hospital. However, Stinemetz, for religious reasons, insists on transplant surgery without any blood transfusion-- a procedure which is available in an Omaha, Nebraska hospital, but not in Kansas. State Medicaid rules pay for out-of-state treatment only when it is "medically necessary." Kansas officials say that the patient's religious objections to blood transfusions do not amount to medical necessity.