Since 2014, lawmakers in Kansas have rejected the opportunity to expand Medicaid to cover incomes up to 138% of the poverty level ($29,435 for a family of three). This expansion would provide much-needed coverage for the working poor and people with disabilities. It would keep hospitals in rural areas open, expand the healthcare sector as more patients seek care, and create jobs.
Expanding Medicaid would also save us money. Right now, Kansas is one of only thirteen states still sending its tax dollars to thirty-seven other states (and the District of Columbia) who have chosen to accept federal money to pay for 90% of the cost of their Medicaid programs.
In 2020, the Kansas Legislature passed on yet another chance to expand Medicaid, even after a bi-partisan compromise was reached. They stood by this decision despite the emergence of COVID-19, which doesn’t discriminate between people with insurance and people without. Uninsured patients are less likely to seek treatment when they get sick, more likely to report to work despite mild to moderate symptoms, and more likely to spread the disease. We’re all connected. Expanding Medicaid protects us all.
Experience shows us exactly what will happen if we continue to elect Republicans to the Kansas House and Senate. When experience fails us, it’s time to elect new voices to represent our needs.
You can learn more about how expanding Medicaid would save our state money here: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2019/fiscal-case-medicaid-expansion