KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — Many of the protesters outside U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ office Monday were advocating for policies like single-payer health care, a higher minimum wage and improved housing conditions for deeply personal reasons.
Vicki Destefano was one of 20 protesters from the Poor People’s Campaign, which hosted the rally. Distefano’s brother Michael died several years after a severe motorcycle accident. As his primary caregiver, she witnessed his care decline when former Gov. Sam Brownback established KanCare, the contractor-based program the state uses to administer Medicaid. She said even if the state expands Medicaid, the for-profit model wouldn’t improve conditions for many Kansans.
“KanCare killed my brother, Medicare for All could have saved him,” Distefano said.