Expanding KANCARE Makes Sense
When the Affordable Care Act was originally passed, it required states to cover people who were unable to pay for their own medical coverage. This was challenged, and the US. Supreme Court said that the federal government could not enforce this mandate. This had to be decided by each state. So, many states decided to expand their healthcare coverage, and a few, like Kansas didn’t. Because we haven’t expanded KANCARE, we have lost more than $2.4 billion dollars Since January 1, 2014, which should have come back to Kansas.
There are more than 150,000 Kansans who currently have no health insurance, and rural hospitals are struggling to stay open. Yet from many of our elected officials, we hear that we shouldn’t expand KANCARE until we have fully funded the waiting lists for people with disabilities. To me, these are two separate issues. Of course, we should fund services to people on the waiting list. But there are also people with disabilities who are currently working who need medical coverage as well. Furthermore, many of the people who work as direct support workers don’t have health coverage, and by expanding KANCARE and providing coverage to them, it would make it much easier for people with disabilities on the waivers to keep and maintain quality workers.
Finally, many rural hospitals are struggling to stay open. By expanding KANCARE, there would be a financial boost to those hospitals. We can continue to force people with no medical coverage to use much costlier options like emergency rooms when they need care or we can do the responsible thing and expand KANCARE so they can receive coverage. We are going to pay the taxes anyway, bringing that money back to Kansas instead of sending it to other states to me, just makes sense.
How would you benefit from KanCare expansion?