Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of expanding conversations about how public policy affects the daily lives of our people across the state. Susan Osborn is a member of the Kansas State Women’s Leadership Team.
Kansas House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins recently wrote a Opinion on Medicaid (Kancare) Expansion Full of fear, misleading statements and outright lies. He cites few facts, figures or statistics. Instead, he relied on outrageous claims circulating on unreliable websites over the years.
I want to clarify the facts.
Hawkins warned that Medicaid expansion would jeopardize the care of disabled citizens. By “adding able-bodied adults to the program,” he wrote, it “results in a thinner distribution of the same resources across a growing population.”
This is not true. In fact, new funding and new resources are available to all current Medicaid users and those newly eligible after the expansion. When states agree to expand, the federal government provides additional funding.Kansas has lost so far over $5.5 billion By not expanding Medicaid.
Concerns that the program is unsustainable can be answered by looking at the expansion status.
To date, 38 states, including Washington, D.C., have expanded the program to include all of our neighboring states. Wyoming will be the 39th this fall. Not a single state has changed its mind.
Hawkins said the expansion in those states failed because more citizens signed up than planned. Hawkins conflated the dramatic increase in Medicaid enrollment with the failure. In fact, increasing enrollment has proven successful. The additional federal funding that Kansas will receive will be used to increase enrollment. At the same time, Kansas taxes are used by states that have expanded.
The Kansas economy will get a significant boost through expansion.
“Several comprehensive analyses of the current state of expansion found that Medicaid expansion had a net positive impact on state budgets,” wrote the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.
In another misstatement, Hawkins claimed that hospitals, especially in rural areas, were at risk due to expansion. The unfortunate state of Kansas is that the nation has the most hospitals at risk of closing, according to the Healthy Kansas Alliance. With the expansion, hospitals receive Medicaid reimbursement instead of paying for uninsured patients themselves.
rural and urban communities will experience economic development With the expansion of KanCare.
Hawkins insists that able-bodied Kansas also qualify during the expansion. He was ashamed of their admissions and suggested they were already eligible for low-cost insurance or through their employment.
Hawkins didn’t mention that nearly all people who are “able-bodied” are already working but are “struggling” because of low wages, earning too much to get current Medicaid, and can’t afford health insurance Too little money — to get health care through an employer.
A full-time mom of two earning more than $4 an hour is in trouble. Remember, she’s working! People in the catering, construction and lodging industries are examples of this situation. Others eligible include those who have to care for people with disabilities or young and disabled people.
Hawkins mistakenly pointed out that elderly and disabled citizens covered by Medicare would lose access to health care and end up on long waiting lists. He tried to confuse Kansas by suggesting that Medicare and current Medicaid are the same thing. Of course, this is not true.
He also said 22,000 people have died on waitlists in expansion states. In fact, this term has been used by Hawkins and unreliable websites for years.it won four pinocchio From Washington post Fact checkers in 2018. The fact is Fewer waiting lines in expanding states.Medicaid expansion still with significantly reduced in all-cause mortality.
Hawkins also said people were excluded because of the cap on enrolments, but there were no such thing.
according to Center for Budget and Policy Focus: “States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have dramatically reduced uninsured rates. At the same time, those who get coverage have become healthier and more financially secure, while long-standing health outcomes, insurance Racial disparities in scope and access to care have narrowed.”
extension has Production net savings for many states. In addition, the extension with More than 4% reduction What states spend on their traditional Medicaid programs.
What the Medicaid expansion will bring impact on family• More coverage, improved maternal health and better preventive care. Most uninsured children live in a non-expanded state.
Medicaid expansion is not a benefit program for able-bodied people. It’s a program to help working neighbors who are stuck in low-paying jobs and can’t afford health insurance.
Get the facts. Eighty percent of Kansas support the expansion of Medicaid, including most Democrats and Republicans, as well as rural and urban residents. The findings also show that Kansas wants our Senators and Representatives to vote for the expansion of Medicaid.
Before trying to scare the Kansasians again, Hawkins should get his facts straight.
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