Letter to Advocates: Wear Your 8-in-10 Shirts

April 2022

Dear Fellow Advocates of Medicaid Expansion in Kansas,

Like you, I am deeply concerned for the 150,000+ individuals that need and will greatly benefit from Medicaid expansion by our state legislators. I am frustrated that they are not listening to the voices that have so eloquently articulated the health, economic and moral reasons that it should be passed. I struggle with how I, an individual, can raise the issue to the level of awareness and support in our state that our elected representatives and their leadership will ignore no longer.

Happily, I write today to share a strategy that is working for me!

As part of the “8 in 10 Kansans Support Medicaid Expansion” initiative by the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas in March at the state capitol I received a complimentary t-shirt to help them make a visual statement as we visited with our elected officials. I had no idea at the time how big an impact this simple act makes.

The Monday I was in Topeka wearing the shirt it drew comments and awareness from both my Representative and Senator, other legislators that passed me in the hall, docents, aides and secretaries. Two weeks later I wore the t-shirt to a legislative update presented locally and was joined by 4 more supporters in colorful ‘8 in 10’ t-shirts which caught the attention of everyone and made sure that the issue was addressed. Following that meeting I went to a local restaurant where my neighbor read the shirt and voiced his support. I have given him a shirt!

I also wore my ‘8 in 10’ shirt to a large gathering at the state fairgrounds where several thousand people were present. I was astounded by how many people read the shirt as I walked about, and that the shirt prompted support and conversation with several individuals where I could share facts and the Alliance website.

I am now committed to wearing my shirt often when I am out in public as an individual!

The possibilities of awareness and support that could happen before the next legislative session if individuals from all over the state wear an ‘8 in 10’ t-shirt to the grocery store, on their daily walk, to picnic in the park or events of their choosing really excites me. I encourage you to share these shirts with those that want to do something about this issue and to share with the Alliance strategies that are successful for you or those you know so that I (we) can benefit from each other’s efforts.

Ron Chronister