Governor Kelly Calls for the Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act to Get a Hearing by Kansas Day: Here’s What They’re Saying
TOPEKA— Governor Laura Kelly announced the Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act last month and last week the bills were referred to the House Health and Human Services and Senate Public Health and Welfare committees. Now, Governor Kelly is calling for a hearing by Kansas Day on January 29th.
The House has not held a hearing on Medicaid expansion since 2017 or in the Senate since 2020 and advocates believe that a debate on this topic is long overdue. By expanding Medicaid, 150,000 Kansans would receive health care coverage—benefitting our hospitals, workforce, and economy.
Here’s what they’re saying:
“Expanding Medicaid will help thousands of working Kansans go to the doctor for routine and preventive care. It will also save Kansans money because we all pay more when uninsured Kansans end up in the ER with no way to pay. Failure to expand Medicaid harms hospitals and taxpayers. We need to expand Medicaid to improve health of Kansans and to protect vulnerable hospitals, which is why we join Governor Kelly in calling for the Legislature to have a hearing on the Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act. It’s well past time for Kansas to expand Medicaid.”
—David Jordan, President and CEO, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund
“Healthy parents are essential to raising healthy children, because when parents are insured, kids are more likely to receive regular medical care. Kansas families can’t wait any longer for lawmakers to close the coverage gap so they can get the health care they need to work for their family’s future. The Legislature must hold a hearing on Medicaid expansion now.”
—John Wilson, President and CEO, Kansas Action for Children
“The Catholic Sisters of Kansas, an organization representing Institutes of Catholic Religious Sisters who live, contribute, and vote as citizens of Kansas, urges passage of the Medicaid expansion bill. Catholic women religious built the first private hospitals where patients were cared for without asking how, or whether, they could pay. We recognize suffering and need when we see it. We ask that you as our legislative leaders be mindful that some Kansans, who through no fault of their own, are distressed and dying from unmet medical needs because they do not have reliable, affordable access to health care. Expanding Medicaid will help more than 150,000 of the citizens of Kansas to gain affordable access to healthcare. We support and urge Legislators to pass the Medicaid expansion bill.”
—The Catholic Sisters of Kansas
“In what has become a bleak January tradition, Medicaid expansion bills have been introduced in the Kansas House and Senate and legislative leaders have declared the bills dead on arrival. A whole generation of legislators have never had the opportunity to hear testimony on Medicaid expansion or have a full debate on the issue. The last time there was an expansion bill hearing in the House was 2017 and in the Senate the last bill hearing was in 2020. Overwhelming statewide support for Medicaid expansion has been demonstrated in poll after poll. It is time for legislative leaders to stop blocking progress on Medicaid expansion and allow the democratic process to work the way our forefathers intended.”
—April Holman, Executive Director, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas
“The REACH Healthcare Foundation applauds the recent introduction of the Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act in the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives. Supported by hundreds of health and social service providers, consumer advocates, faith leaders and more, this Medicaid expansion act would clear a path for 150,000 Kansans to obtain affordable health coverage and stabilize hospitals and clinics that provide care to the uninsured. Increasing the state’s restrictive Medicaid eligibility would put Kansas in alignment with 40 other states that have drawn down billions of federal tax dollars to invest in the health of their people and essential health systems. Legislative leaders have indicated they plan to continue to block opportunities to discuss Medicaid expansion on the House and Senate floor. This is unacceptable. Kansas has already missed out on nearly a decade of opportunity to leverage these federal resources to bolster the health of our people and communities. Kansans know that uninsured workers and families are vulnerable now and that communities struggle without access to health care today. It’s time for a hearing on an issue that impacts the entire state.”
—Brenda Sharpe, President and CEO, REACH Healthcare Foundation