ICYMI: First Medicaid Expansion Hearings in
Four Years Supported by More than 900
Written Testimonies 

Yesterday, Governor Laura Kelly’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion proposal, theCutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act, was heard in the Kansas Legislature. This is the first time in four years that the legislature has allowed public debate on Medicaid expansion. More than 900 written testimonies were made in support of Medicaid expansion; 450 of which were submitted to the House and 463 to the Senate.

First Medicaid expansion hearing held in years yields many Kansas supporters
03.20.24 | Kansas Reflector 

Kansas legislature hears testimony on Medicaid expansion
03.20.24 | KWCH

For the first time in four years, Kansas lawmakers have hearings on Medicaid expansion
03.20.24 | Topeka Capital-Journal

Medicaid expansion receives first public hearing in Kansas Statehouse in 4 years
03.20.24 | KCTV5

Senate launches Medicaid expansion hearing
03.20.24 | Iola Register

‘It cannot stop there’: Kansas Gov. pushes for debate on Medicaid Expansion
03.20.24 | KSNT

Dozens gather for public hearing on Medicaid expansion
03.20.24 | WIBW

For first time in years, Kansas legislative leaders allow hearings on Medicaid expansion
03.20.24 | Lawrence Journal-World

Here’s what they’re saying:

“…Having access to Medicaid coverage for inmates is supported by the [Kansas Sheriff’s Association]. This provision will allow the county jail to leverage federal Medicaid dollars to reduce the costs to counties. Medical costs of prisoner care can be devastating when expensive hospitalization for medical conditions are encountered, especially when a rural county is responsible for those costs.”
Sheriff Jeffery Easter, Sedgwick County Sherriff and Legislative Chair, Kansas Sheriff’s Association  

“Under Medicaid expansion, the federal government’s share of the Kansas Medicaid program would increase from approximately 60% to 90%. This increase would mean that more of the dollars Kansas pays to the federal government would flow back into Kansas, rather than be sent to other states that have expanded Medicaid.”
Christine Osterlund, Deputy Secretary for Agency Integration and Medicaid, Kansas Department of Health and Environment   

“3Rivers provides payroll services for hundreds of consumers with developmental and physical disabilities who employ direct service workers. Expanding Medicaid would help us increase our ability to recruit workers for crucial services for people with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities and seniors.”
Erica Christie, Assistant Director, 3Rivers Center for Independent Living   

“Expanding Medicaid isn’t about giving free services to the unemployed. It’s about providing healthcare that will extend the life of patients currently in the workforce but caught in the coverage gap. It’s about supporting our rural hospitals and keeping physicians in Kansas, by approving a business model that isn’t depleted by uncompensated care from the outset. This isn’t a political or ideological position.”     –Dr. Doug Gruenbacher, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians  

“Despite facing numerous obstacles, the North Carolina General Assembly tackled each challenge through ongoing dialogue and problem-solving. The state’s historic actions are anticipated to positively affect approximately 600,000 citizens, 80% of whom are employed but struggle to afford conventional employer-sponsored insurance. This endeavor promises an unparalleled economic impact for both the state and health care providers.”
–North Carolina State Senator Jim Burgin and North Carolina State Representative Donny Lambeth

“Sunflower Foundation commissioned the poll to understand the views of small businesses and Kansas voters and to provide new information for state lawmakers about the economic impact of Medicaid expansion. The poll illustrates a growing sentiment among Kansans that Medicaid expansion is both a health care and economic issue, especially when viewed locally. Poll findings show clear support for expansion, particularly among small business owners.”
Billie Hall, President and CEO, Sunflower Foundation

“As a fiscal conservative, I prefer to minimize the tax burden on our society. I believe the taxes we do pay, however, need to benefit the people who are paying them. To date, Kansans have paid billions of dollars in federal taxes that have benefitted Americans in New York, California, and my former place of residence in Colorado. These tax dollars need to come home to help us build our communities.”
Benjamin Anderson, President and CEO, Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System

“Hospitals, not unlike many other Industries, are facing ever-Increasing workforce challenges. As the state continues on the path of non-expansion, many hospitals and health care settings will lose out on talented front-line healthcare professionals who will go to any of the other surrounding Midwest states that have invested in their healthcare systems and already expanded Medicaid.”
Edward Hermann, President and CEO, Hays Medical Center 

“I come before you having received some dated care through my community, and I find it’s just as much as [the legislature’s] duty as it is our duty to care for other people in Kansas. Expanding Medicaid would impact 150,000 Kansans like me who fell into the Medicaid gap and who are not receiving care and desperately need that care to sustain a quality of life so they can achieve their goals and succeed in Kansas.”
Marcelline Dover, Wichita teacher diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis that was left untreated due to not having insurance  

The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas collected the majority of the testimonies due to the significant volume. Testimonies for the Senate informational hearing can be found here and testimonies for the House Health and Human Services Committee’s hearing on HB 2556 can be found here. Oral conferees and other additional testimony submitted on the Senate side can be found here and on the House side can be found here.