April Holman: Why Kansas needs to join the 38 states that have expanded Medicaid
By April Holman | Feb. 13, 2021
For more than a decade, Kansas’ conservative legislative leaders have done everything in their power to block expansion of the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, their political games have left us as the last holdout state on expansion in the Midwest. An island. And it’s wreaking havoc on our hospitals, our people and our economy.
Medicaid expansion is perhaps most critically needed for our health care system. A new report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform shows that 47 rural Kansas hospitals are at immediate risk for closure.
That’s more than any other state in the nation.
We know that Medicaid expansion won’t “save” these hospitals, but study after study has proven that hospitals in expansion states are less likely to close and that they see improvements in financial performance by reducing the amount of uncompensated care.
Without expansion, the Kansas health care system just can’t compete with the states surrounding us, all of which have approved Medicaid expansion. They can offer health care workers higher salaries and we miss out on economic opportunities.