ICYMI: Perpetuating Myths About Medicaid Expansion Harms Hardworking Kansans
in Coverage Gap

“In an interview for the Kansas Reflector Podcast, Kelly said the arguments against Medicaid expansion can be debunked by looking at the implementation of the program in other states. “There’s not one of those 40 states that would go back and eliminate Medicaid expansion…We know that it is not a service just for able-bodied people who don’t want to work. We know that most of the people out there who are eligible for Medicaid expansion are working — oftentimes two jobs.”

GOP leaders ‘demonize the poor’ in Medicaid expansion debate while working Kansans struggle
Sherman Smith, Kansas Reflector
December 11, 2023

  • Leaders in the Legislature have stonewalled Medicaid expansion for years, falsifying the cost of the program while denigrating the sick and vulnerable.
  • Kansas Reflector talked to residents across the state and reviewed testimonials gathered by advocacy groups to better understand who would benefit from Medicaid expansion. Most are workers with low incomes who suffer from chronic illness. They are small business owners and their employees, as well as students, cancer patients and those who need mental health treatment.
  • As Kelly toured the state this fall to promote Medicaid expansion, [legislative leadership] issued a statement condemning her “welfare express tour.” Their statement was laced with familiar inaccurate claims — that Medicaid expansion would create unsustainable costs for the state while extending services to “able-bodied adults” who “choose not to work.” In reality, three-fourths of the state’s uninsured adults are already working.
  • KHI has found that 75.5% of uninsured adults in Kansas are working, and only 54.1% of Kansans get health insurance through their employer.
  • [Tayla Naden, a Kansan previously in the coverage gap] bristled at the way GOP leaders talk about the people who would benefit from Medicaid expansion. “It’s frustrating because I’m obviously an able-bodied adult, and I do work, but I have my unique challenges that I haven’t been able to overcome,” Naden said. “And it’s frustrating for somebody to make it sound like I’m not trying hard enough.”