Coalition launches online ‘ticker’ showing foregone federal dollars
By KHI News Service
TOPEKA — The Kansas Medicaid Access Coalition has launched a new website showing how much Kansas is losing in federal aid dollars by refusing to expand its Medicaid program in keeping with the Affordable Care Act.
The website, HowMuchHasKSLeftOnTheTable.com, displays a continuous “ticker” showing how many dollars Kansas is “leaving on the table.”
The sum was about $47.8 million by mid-day Friday.
“We launched this website because our state’s leadership has chosen not to accept federal funds to expand the Medicaid program,” said Sean Gatewood, a coalition spokesman. “Instead, our federal tax dollars are going to states like California and New York to provide health insurance coverage to their residents. Meanwhile, as many as 100,000 hardworking Kansans remain uninsured.”
The coalition includes more than 50 social service and consumer groups. The Kansas Hospital Association also is pushing Kansas policymakers to rethink their opposition to Medicaid expansion.
Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders have said they fear the federal aid money would dry up in the future leaving Kansas to pick up much of the added cost.
About 78,000 Kansans currently without health insurance could potentially gain it, should state leaders choose to open up the program, which serves low-income elderly, disabled and children. Kansas currently has some of the most restrictive eligibility standards in the nation.