Hey you all!
The Alliance for Healthy Kansans who has taken a lead on advocating for KanCare Expansion. I have pasted below why Expansion is important. As we have talked about in the past, this could provide health insurance to many direct support workers/ personal assistants that fall in that gap between regular KanCare and the insurance marketplace. The main argument that legislators are using to oppose moving expansion forward is one that they have used for awhile. They keep saying that “providing healthcare through KanCare will take away from people with disabilities.” The disability community has repeatedly said this is not true. Looking at other States that have approved Medicaid expansion, it has actually made things better for people with disabilities. We have said there are some people with disabilities who currently work and are not eligible for traditional KanCare (Medicaid). We also have said that there are DSW/PCAs that work but do not have healthcare coverage. Both of these groups of people make too much income for traditional KanCare (Medicaid) but they do not make enough income to purchase insurance through the marketplace.
WHY DOES EXPANSION OF KANCARE MATTER? HERE ARE THE REASONS:
- Economic growth – KanCare expansion will help stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs. A study by an economist from Kansas State University found that expanding KanCare would create more than 13,000 new jobs.
- It is a Kansas-based solution – Each state that expands its program can tailor it to the state’s particular needs. Among the features Kansas could draw on are requirements that beneficiaries share the costs of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, incentives for healthy behaviors, and referral to job training for those who might need it.
- It protects access to care, especially in rural areas – Four rural Kansas hospitals have closed in recent years, resulting in loss of access to emergency care, surgery, and other health care services; hundreds of people lost their jobs. Effects of hospital closures are felt throughout the community.
- It helps 150,000 hardworking Kansans who cannot afford coverage – These are our family members, friends, and fellow Kansans who don’t make enough money to afford quality health insurance but have incomes that are too high to qualify for KanCare. Most are employed and many work multiple jobs to provide for their families. These are Kansans stuck in the coverage gap, with no affordable insurance options.
It helps thousands of uninsured military veterans and their families – About 7,400 veterans and their spouses would gain access to quality, affordable health care coverage with KanCare expansion. Veterans often do not have automatic and easy access to health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite their service to our country.
- It controls health insurance costs – Without KanCare expansion, the state’s uninsured will continue to forego necessary health care. As long as thousands of working Kansans remain uninsured, the health care they inevitably need but cannot afford ends up raising the costs of care for others in the state — employers, hospitals, local governments and privately insured individuals and families.
The Alliance has asked us for some help. The disability argument seems to be the lead argument for the opposition. They asked if we had any caregivers that are in the gap or people with disabilities that are not yet able to get onto traditional medicaid but could benifit by expansion or others that may benefit and would be willing to talk about us to get in contact with me. Can you please let your members know, we would like to get something together ASAP.
- by Sean Gatewood & Lou Ann Kibbee