Kansas Businesses Support Medicaid Expansion During Kansas Legislature’s Hearings:
Here’s What They’re Saying 

Last week, Governor Laura Kelly’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion proposal received support from more than 20 Kansas businesses and chambers of commerce during hearings in the House Health and Human Services Committee and the joint session of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee. These businesses and chambers of commerce represent thousands of Kansas business owners across the state.

The Sunflower Foundation recently shared results from a statewide poll conducted by Neil Newhouse with Public Opinion Strategies, which revealed that 83% of small business owners favor expanding Medicaid in Kansas.  

Here’s what they’re saying:

“Medicaid expansion would be a driving force in keeping our teams fully staffed and creating pipelines for internal growth and development, as the increased access to healthcare would result in more productivity and less worker absenteeism, which, again, I cannot stress enough the importance of in the restaurant industry.”
—Mukesh Dharod, Owner and CEO, Genesh, Inc. DBA Burger King  

“Our continued growth in Chanute depends in part upon the community’s ability to provide health care, and passing Medicaid expansion is critically necessary. Amazingly, Kansas is one of very few states that does not offer this benefit, and the projected net loss for Medicaid write-offs for our community hospital alone exceeds $90 million annually.”
—Charles M. Newell, CEO, and Henry H. Newell, President, Orizon Aerostructures

“An expanded Medicaid program would also ensure a healthier, more productive, and efficient workforce to continue fueling our community’s and our state’s business growth. The largest investment for most companies is the one they make in their employees. Expanding coverage to uninsured Crawford County residents would increase productivity while reducing absenteeism and employee turnover. This type of focus on workforce development is increasingly a top consideration in locating and/or expanding a business.”
—Blake Benson, President, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce  

“As a small business owner of a farm and seed operation in western Kansas, we see Medicaid expansion as part of the puzzle for holding our small community together. In our business, we pay health care benefits for our employees, but these loyal folks have family and friends who may not have that option. They may work part-time jobs or have jobs that just don’t carry health coverage.”
—Louise Ehmke, Co-Owner, Ehmke Seed

“There are hard-working employees who would benefit from Medicaid expansion. I believe in providing health care benefits to my employees, and for most businesses, health care costs are a large part of our operating expenses. Medicaid expansion would allow me to grow and expand my businesses and serve even more people in Kansas. Medicaid expansion would also help with my employee satisfaction and retention, keeping high-quality employees in rural Kansas.”
—Dr. Jennifer B. McKenney, Owner, Fredonia Family Care, The Oasis Medical Spa, and The Remote Scribe Company

“The largest employer in Hutchinson is the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, contributing to the health and vitality of our own economy. We stand with them to ask for your support for the Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act, which would accomplish several things. It protects rural hospitals, supporting jobs and health care in rural communities.”
—Debra Teufel, President and CEO, Hutchinson and Reno County Chamber of Commerce

“Expanding KanCare eligibility would provide much-needed health care coverage for thousands of working but uninsured individuals in our state, including nearly 7,500 in Johnson County. Access to affordable health care is a fundamental component of a thriving economy. When individuals are healthy and have access to preventive care, they are more productive in the workplace and less likely to miss work due to illness.”
—Stephanie Meyer, President and CEO, Leawood Chamber of Commerce