Kansas Public Service Leaders Support Medicaid Expansion During Kansas Legislature’s Hearings:
Here’s What They’re Saying

Last month, Governor Laura Kelly’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion proposal received support from 18 cities, counties, and state agencies during the Kansas Legislature’s Medicaid expansion hearings. The Kansas League of Municipalities and the Kansas Association of Counties, representing more than 650 localities, were among this group. Their testimony was submitted for the 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.

This statewide support builds on the 16 cities and counties that have included Medicaid expansion on their legislative agenda, issued a proclamation, or passed a resolution on this issue.   

Here’s what they’re saying:

“We commend [the Medicaid expansion proposal’s] foresight in its commitment to maintaining revenue neutrality. By leveraging surplus funds, we can direct resources towards essential areas such as tax cuts, bolstering public schools, and fortifying our infrastructure. This pragmatic approach ensures that the burden won’t fall upon the shoulders of hardworking Kansas taxpayers.”
—Mayor Jim A. Cross, City of Russell

“For eligible families in our community, [Medicaid expansion] would allow them to direct more of their resources to housing, child care, transportation, and food. This is a cost-effective way to assist health care providers, consumers, and their communities by closing the gap in health care and bringing federal dollars into Kansas.”
—Daron Hall, City Manager, City of Pittsburg

“Under the proposed Medicaid expansion, it is estimated that another 2,710 residents, or 80 percent of those released, would be eligible for Medicaid. Released residents already encounter a number of challenges in reintegrating into society, and removing barriers to health care coverage, which would happen under Medicaid expansion, would greatly assist their transition and help them be successful upon their release.”
—Secretary Jeff Zmuda, Kansas Department of Corrections

“Kansas residents are paying federal taxes to help other states expand Medicaid while at the same time shouldering an increased local tax burden to maintain essential health care services in their communities. This increased burden is unsustainable for municipalities and taxpayers. Municipalities are faced with a choice between continuing to supplement the local hospital so the community can maintain vital health care services crucial to sustaining the local economy or cutting such aid for the sake of providing other essential governmental services also crucial to sustaining the local economy. This choice can potentially be avoided by supporting Medicaid expansion.”
—Spencer Duncan, Government Affairs Director, League of Kansas Municipalities

“86 out of 105 counties in Kansas are in nonmetropolitan areas. [The Medicaid expansion proposal] will help stabilize and grow the Kansas workforce by ensuring our small hospitals remain open, providing essential health care services for our rural population, and keeping high paying jobs in these areas of the state. These doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care related positions keep the local economies strong and the local workforce healthy and productive.”
—Secretary Amber Shultz, Kansas Department of Labor

“The [Kansas County Commissioners Association] represents the elected Commissioners in all 105 counties. That’s 362 elected leaders. It’s a very diverse, bipartisan group. Republicans. Democrats. Rural. Urban. All of them work to serve their communities. The [Kansas County Commissioners Association] urges both the Senate and House leadership to allow these bills to be debated and voted on by each body. The sooner the better.”
—Kansas County Commissioners Association

Testimony for the House hearings can be found here and for the Senate informational hearing can be found here.

Below are the cities, counties, and agencies that submitted testimony in support of Medicaid expansion.

  • Roeland Park
  • Evelyn Hill, County Commissioner, Unified Government of Wyandotte County
  • Merriam
  • Karen Willey, County Commissioner, Douglas County
  • Lawrence
  • Kansas Department of Labor
  • Emporia
  • Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Russell
  • Office of Rural Prosperity
  • Mission
  • Kansas Department of Corrections
  • Overland Park
  • Kansas Department for Children and Families
  • Prairie Village
  • Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
  • Pittsburg
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment