Medicaid (KanCare) Expansion
I am the only one in this race who will commit to supporting Medicaid Expansion.
Currently in Kansas: (David Jordan, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund testimony, April 13, 2022)
Approximately, 150,000 Kansans (mostly working poor) are currently without health care coverage. They make too much to qualify for KanCare but too little to be eligible for financial help to buy private insurance. Let me give you an example:
A single mother with two kids who works a minimum wage job 23
hours per week falls into the coverage gap
Lack of access to health care. (David Jordan, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund testimony, April 13, 2022)
The uninsured receive less preventive care, are more severely ill when diagnosed, and receive less therapeutic care and fewer medications after diagnosis than those with coverage.
Those who are uninsured and suffer from cancer, heart disease, diabetes or any number of other diseases have a higher rate of disability and death than those with the same illnesses who have insurance coverage.
To put it simply, those without insurance are sicker, poorer and more likely to die than the rest of us.
“People are healthier with Medicaid Expansion.
A review of over 600 studies that have been conducted since states first started expanding Medicaid show that expansion states have better outcomes in mortality, cancer, chronic disease, disabilities, sexual and reproductive health, behavioral health, etc. (Guth, M & Ammula 2021)
Lack of Medicaid Expansion is expensive for everyone.
When low-wage Kansans can’t get health coverage that means more in emergency room bills, increased uncompensated care for hospitals, and untreated mental and physical health needs. This means we all end up paying more for health care. EXPANDING KANCARE WILL BRING THE COST OF HEALTH CARE DOWN FOR EVERYONE. (April Holman, Executive Director Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, Legislative testimony, April 13, 2022)
Kansas Federal Taxes funding healthcare in other states. Kansans are paying federal taxes to fund the expansion of Medicaid in other states but not their own. Kansas has already lost out on an estimated $5.8 billion (Alliance 2022) in federally available Medicaid funds between 2014 and 2022. (2022 Study conducted by KU Institute for Policy and Social Research)
We are sending our money to the federal government, and they are trying to send some of it back. We just keep saying, “No, thank you."
Missed economic benefits. In addition, the state missed out on the additional economic activity that can be spurred by the influx of federal Medicaid dollars. At a 90 percent federal match, this means that every federal dollar of Medicaid funding in the state would likely generate $1.35 in additional economic activity. (2022 Study conducted by KU Institute for Policy and Social Research)
Economic benefits of Medicaid Expansion
Small Businesses: In states that have expanded Medicaid, small business owners, self-employed individuals and small business employees have seen significant gains in insurance coverage. This means small businesses are better able to compete with larger companies when looking for employees. (2022 Study conducted by KU Institute for Policy and Social Research)
Rural areas: Kansans in our rural communities already have a hard time accessing health care when and where they need it, and rural health care providers face high levels of uncompensated care. Seventy rural hospitals are currently at risk of closing across our state, more than any other state our size. Expanding KanCare would strengthen and sustain the rural health care system and help ensure rural Kansas get the health care they need while giving a boost to their economies. (April Holman)
Reduce need to raise local taxes: Arkansas City raised their sales tax 1.5 cents to support the hospital. Expanding KanCare would have brought the same revenue to the hospital and would have negated the need to raise local taxes. This is true in dozens of Kansas communities
“Expanding Kan Care is a pro-growth policy that will bring hundreds of millions of federal dollars to Kansas annually, which ripples through the state economy, creates jobs, and allows savings in other areas. In fact, a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high-performing health care system, estimated that the state would spend less on Medicaid expansion than on subsidies to business, which are also intended to promote economic growth. (David Jordan, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund testimony, April 13, 2022)
Any state that has expanded Medicaid can reverse that decision at any time if the state is seeing negative effects from expansion. None of the 38 states that have expanded Medicaid have reversed their decision to do so. (Alliance for a healthy Kansas, Briefing book on Kancare Expansion 2022)
78% of Kansans support Medicaid Expansion. (Perry/Undem and Bellwether National Research firm, Dec 2021).
It is a Kansas-based solution: (www.expandkancarecorm/why-expansion-matters
Each state that expands its program can tailor it to the state’s particular needs. Among the features Kansans could draw on are requirements that beneficiaries share the costs of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, incentives for healthy behaviors and referral to job training for those who might need it.
Rate of Doctor Acceptance: 70.1% Medicaid; 85.3%, Medicare; 90% Private insurance. Many studies have found that access to care did not decrease after the surge of enrollment, citing improvements in appointment availability as well as decreased wait times.
It is important to note that despite low physician participation in Medicaid, beneficiaries are still receiving services.
Compared to individuals without insurance, Medicaid enrollees reported substantially better access to care.(Physician Acceptance of New Medicaid Patients: What matters and what doesn’t. Holgash, Heberlein April 2019)