Medicaid expansion, a smart choice for Kansas

Kansas DemsThere are many fiscally and economically responsible reasons to expand Medicaid in Kansas. Here are a few:

• Medicaid expansion is a smart choice for Kansas. Accounting for factors that reduce costs, the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that states as a whole are likely to see net savings from expanding Medicaid. Combining Medicaid costs with a conservative estimate of $18 billion in state and local non-Medicaid savings on uncompensated care, the Medicaid expansion would save states a total of $10 billion over 2013-2022. And the Kansas Hospital Association estimated that Kansas would save $82 million if we expanded Medicaid.

• Medicaid expansion would create good Kansas jobs (and lots of them). Estimates suggest that expanding Medicaid would lead to the creation of 4,000 new jobs in Kansas. And not just temporary low-wage jobs. Expanding Medicaid means more good paying jobs in the health industry that will stay in Kansas and can’t be exported to Missouri or Mexico.

• Medicaid expansion drastically reduces number of uninsured Kansans. Almost 400,000 Kansans currently have no health insurance. Expanding Medicaid would drop that number by 169,000 Kansans. And the number of currently uninsured Kansans that will have access to health insurance coverage for $100 per month or less next year would rise to 8 in 10.

And while all these numbers are accurate and compelling, Medicaid expansion has the benefit of being the morally right thing to do too. Helping middle-class families and small businesses regain financial security and giving Kansas families the peace of mind that comes with health insurance makes us all stronger. Too often sickness and bankruptcy are just one bad break away – Medicaid expansion would end that for thousands of Kansans.

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