ICYMI: Governor Kelly’s ‘Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act’ Garners Widespread Bipartisan Support: Here’s What They’re Saying

“Each year I’ve been in office, I have introduced a bill to expand Medicaid with support from both sides of the aisle. The year, we’re going a step further to meet Republicans in the middle, putting forward a plan that would cut healthcare costs, create jobs, and grow our economy – all at no additional cost for Kansas taxpayers,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We have taken such a bipartisan approach to incorporate what I’ve been hearing from Kansans during my tour and to reflect conversations we’ve had with Republican lawmakers. Now, there’s no excuse – at this point, every legislator standing in the way of Medicaid expansion is going against a commonsense, fiscally responsible proposal that benefits their constituents.”

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Here’s what they’re saying:

“Kansans across the state have spoken loud and clear — they overwhelmingly support expanding Medicaid.  Now is the time to deliver for them. Governor Kelly’s Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act would do just that, providing pivotal financial relief for our struggling rural hospitals and our neighbors who can’t afford essential medical and mental health care. I look forward to supporting this bill as we begin the 2024 legislative session, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes

“The REACH Healthcare Foundation appreciates the Governor’s determination to put forth a bipartisan, cost-neutral proposal that would provide health care services to individuals who are key contributors to the state’s economy. Kansans, Gov. Kelly and many legislators understand that the majority of people in the coverage gap are working, but not in jobs that provide coverage. Research has shown that Medicaid expansion supports work by taking away the stress and cost burden of not being able to get care for basic health needs. Bottom line: There is no win for working people or the state by sitting by as other states leverage available federal funding to help their people secure health care and strengthen their economies. Over the past decade, the REACH Foundation has followed the journeys of dozens of states that have moved forward on this issue. It’s time for Kansas leaders to give Medicaid expansion their full consideration. Kansas families, workers and health providers are ready.”

—Brenda Sharpe, President and CEO, REACH Healthcare Foundation

“Community Care Network of Kansas and its member health centers, and community clinics are committed to ensuring that all Kansans have equitable access to quality health care. We support any legislation that helps vulnerable Kansans gain greater access to the care they need. We recognize that many people have concerns about the effects of expanding Medicaid. Those concerns should not be readily dismissed. Governor Kelly’s proposal is an attempt to take some of those concerns into account, and we welcome her proposal as a way to move forward the dialogue on this important issue. We encourage legislative leaders and the Governor’s office to work together to find solutions that help the thousands of Kansans who cannot afford health insurance to get the care they need.”

—Sonja Bachus, CEO, Community Care Network of Kansas

“Medicaid Expansion is important for all hospitals in Kansas. Medicaid Expansion will bring tremendous benefits to Kansas citizens, the Kansas economy and the Kansas health care system.”

—Chad Austin, President and CEO, Kansas Hospital Association

“For the last several years we have heard from hospitals, clinics, mental health professionals, service providers, chambers of commerce, county commissions, municipalities, and our local constituents that they overwhelmingly support Medicaid Expansion.  The support for Medicaid expansion is broad ranging and bipartisan, and the facts don’t lie. If Kansas would expand Medicaid, we would save on uncompensated care and provide healthcare access to 150,000 Kansans. Governor Kelly has offered a plan that addresses the concerns raised by those opposed to expanding Medicaid, and those in opposition should make an honest effort to work across the aisle to come to an agreement. It’s time for legislators to listen to and respect the wishes of their constituents, their business leaders, and healthcare professionals by working with Governor Kelly to expand Medicaid in the upcoming session.”

—Kansas State Representative Heather Meyer

“My goal is to ensure Kansans’ tax dollars never go to waste, which is why I support this approach to expanding Medicaid. Right now, Kansans’ federal tax dollars are going to support hospitals and jobs in states like New York, California and every state adjacent to us instead of being invested in the people of Kansas.”

—Kansas State Senator Carolyn McGinn

“It makes no sense to me that, while 40 other states have expanded Medicaid, we have not. Our tax dollars are going to every one of our neighboring states, while healthcare costs rise and hospitals close here in Kansas. By including a work requirement and making sure Kansas taxpayers won’t pay for Medicaid expansion, this proposal addresses many of the concerns my Republican colleagues have had. Now, those in leadership positions need to let this topic be debated and voted on.”

—Kansas State Representative Dave Younger

“This proposal addresses a lot of the concerns I’ve heard from Republican colleagues by including a work requirement and multiple funding streams to ensure Kansas taxpayers won’t foot the bill for Medicaid expansion. I urge my Republican colleagues to join me in supporting this bill to ensure our rural hospitals stay open, to cut healthcare costs and lower taxes, and to get affordable healthcare to more working Kansans.”

—Kansas State Senator John Doll

“This bill provides relief for county jails like the Sedgwick County Jail, which have been burdened with covering the high costs of health care for uninsured inmates. If this part of the expansion proposal were to pass, it would cut down on expenses for local taxpayers and ease up resources so our law enforcement can focus on public safety.”

—Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeffrey Easter

“I support expanding Medicaid with this provision to include health coverage for recently admitted inmates. We have seen benefits and cost savings in working with local providers for having health care rates that match Medicaid. Doing so takes the financial and administrative burden of providing that care off counties and keeps our attention focused on our top priority: public safety.”

—Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister

“As Governor Kelly’s ‘Healthy Workers, Healthy Economy’ tour highlighted, Medicaid expansion is an obvious solution to provide healthcare to hardworking Kansans and to support our hospitals. We appreciate that, by putting forward this measured proposal, Governor Kelly is clearly working to bring Republicans to the table. That’s what’s needed to get Medicaid expanded in Kansas.”

—Ed O’Malley, President and CEO, Kansas Health Foundation