All Kansans win with Medicaid expansion

By

Opinion

April 29, 2019 - 10:04 AM

With every passing day, more Kansans feel the impact of the state’s failure to expand Medicaid. It’s our neighbor struggling to get access to affordable health care. It’s a friend who works full-time — and works hard — but can’t afford private insurance or a doctor’s visit. It’s a working mother who can’t get mental health services to address her undiagnosed depression. It’s a young person with a disability who can’t get the health coverage he needs to continue working.

To date, Kansas has sent more than 3.4 billion of our tax dollars to be used by other states to pay for their health care. That’s money that could go toward making Kansans healthier. It would also help Kansans who fall in the coverage gap — where they make slightly too much to get traditional Medicaid, but not nearly enough to afford private health insurance.

It’s not just patients who stand to lose if we fail to expand Medicaid. Our communities and local hospitals are struggling. According to some reports, 30 percent of our state’s hospitals are considered financially vulnerable. In small communities across our state, these facilities are at serious risk of closure.

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