Governor Kelly Proclaims National Rural Health Day in Kansas

~~Emphasizes Need for Legislature to Expand Medicaid~~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed today National Rural Health Day in Kansas. Her proclamation highlights that health care is essential to Kansas’ rural communities, which face health care accessibility issues and provider shortages and see a higher percentage of uninsured and underinsured residents. Over the last decade, eight rural Kansas hospitals have closed, forcing families to travel farther for health care services and devastating the economy of the surrounding communities.

“More than half of our rural hospitals are at risk of shutting their doors due to financial constraints and worker shortages,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “That’s why I have been relentlessly advocating to expand Medicaid, which would bring more money to hospitals to pay their bills, hire doctors and nurses, and keep health care affordable and accessible for Kansans. We must get this done this upcoming legislative session.”

There are 140,000 Kansans who work but do not have health insurance. Kansas is one of 10 states that have not expanded Medicaid, with every bordering state having done so. By not expanding Medicaid, the Kansas Legislature has left nearly $7 billion of Kansas’ federal tax dollars in Washington instead of allowing that to go toward supporting rural hospitals and creating jobs in the state.

A copy of the proclamation can be found here.