By Ken Johnson, President & CEO of Hutchinson Regional Medical Center | July 13, 2020
Medicaid expansion continues as a hot topic of debate and discussion in this year’s legislative campaigns and preparations for the 2021 legislative session in Kansas.
The Medicaid expansion story began in 2014 following the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Federal funds were made available to hospitals in all 50 states starting in 2014 to offset cuts to Medicare, which was included in the final passage of the act.
Each state was given the option to accept these funds, after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could not be forced to expand their Medicaid programs. To date, Kansas has declined to participate in Medicaid expansion and, in doing so, has left more than $4 billion ($1.8 million each day, as reflected on the Kansas Hospital Association website) on the table. These funds are reallocated for programs in states other than Kansas. Not only have we passed on an opportunity to capture federal funds to boost our economy, but health care experts predict that more than 5,000 jobs would be created as a result of Medicaid expansion.