Fall 2023 campaign
Kansas has a health coverage problem. Tens of thousands of Kansans fall into the coverage gap and don’t have access to affordable health insurance. Kansas has some of the most strict requirements in the country to qualify for our state’s Medicaid program, KanCare. This leaves a large group of Kansans without health insurance, making them vulnerable to high medical debt and leaving them with untreated physical and behavioral health issues.
This fall, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas is working with advocates to get local governments like city commissions, county commissions, or other local governing bodies to support closing the health insurance coverage gap in Kansas.
Why should local governments care about closing the coverage gap? There are a number of benefits to cities and counties:
- Reduced crime and fewer individuals moving through the criminal justice system, which means lowered costs in police departments and jails.
- Increased access to behavioral health and substance use disorder services.
- Healthier residents, resulting in a healthier workforce.
- Increased economic development in all parts of the state.
here’s what to do:
- Reach out to one of your local elected officials and introduce yourself. Ask them to consider adopting a resolution to expand KanCare during the 2024 Legislative session.
- Fill out this form –> and let us know who you reached out to and when.
- When the resolution is considered at a community meeting, be sure to attend and have as many supportive friends and family members attend, as well. If you let us know when the meeting is, we’ll reach out to our network and ask advocates in the area to be there.
- Have your friends and family members in other communities reach out to their elected officials to do the same.
- BONUS STEP: Write a letter to the editor in your local newspaper or post on social media why you support KanCare expansion. Learn about writing a Letter to the Editor in this video.
- BONUS STEP: Join the virtual Healthy Kansas Advocacy Community to be part of a community of other advocates working to close the coverage gap. Check the Events tab of this website to find out when our next meeting will be held.
- Sample Resolution Supporting Medicaid Expansion
- KanCare Expansion and Local Governments flier
- Advocacy Toolkit for KanCare Expansion
- KanCare Expansion and the Kansas Criminal Justice System fact sheet
- KanCare Expansion and the Kansas Behavioral Health System fact sheet
- KanCare Expansion and Kansas Economic Development fact sheet
- KanCare Expansion and the Workforce infographic
Other resources and citations
- Medicaid Expansion’s Impact on the Kansas Behavioral Health System and Users of Behavioral Health Services (Kansas Health Institute Report, January 2023 report)
- The Consequences of Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act for Police Arrests. (Research article from PLoS One, January 2022)
- The effect of health insurance on crime: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion (Clemson University John E Walker Department of Economics, October 2019)
- Unlock Savings: White Paper on Potential Cost Savings to Kansas Correctional System through ACA Medicaid Expansion (Kansas Appleseed white paper)
- Preliminary Estimates of the State and Local Tax Revenue Generated by the Expansion of Medicaid Expenditures (report from Dr. John Leatherman, February 2021)