Tax Day

Today is tax day, and we thought, in celebration of paying for all the things we want in a civilized society, we'd do a deep dive into taxes and tax structure and... who are we kidding? Let's leave the tax issue at this (as spelled out on our website), "MainStream affirms that, in order to provide services to the people, government must be funded by the people it serves. Revenue and spending policies must treat every Kansan equitably, must be sustainable, and must adequately support government’s duties, be it at the state, county, or municipal level."

Simply, taxes fund government, and government provides important services, but taxation must be fair (but not a 'flat tax,' see here for why), and it must not lead to more problems down the road. In 2012, then Governor Brownback began a tax experiment that reduced dependence on progressive taxes (like a graduated income tax) in favor of regressive taxes (like our record high sales tax). Kansas revenue plummeted, putting many state services in jeopardy, and eventually had to be rolled back by newly elected legislators in 2017. But we are still feeling the damaging effects today, after a decade of underfunded schools, infrastructure, and other services.

Taxes are not evil. They are not theft. They are the price of civilization.

What is silly, is being taxed and receiving no benefit from it.

Kansans have, to date, sent more than $3 billion in Federal taxes for Medicaid Expansion, called KanCare in Kansas. But none of that money, not a single cent, has come back to Kansas to make Kansans healthier. It has instead been spent in neighboring and other states to cover their patients, drug costs, and hospitals.

Now is the time to begin spending our health care money in Kansas instead, to cover 150,000 working Kansans who cannot access health care. These are working people, many of them veterans, who make too little to pay for health care, but too much to receive benefits. They are caught in the middle. KanCare Expansion would give them access to health care. Often, these are adult members of a family whose kids qualify for health care, but they do not. Those children, even with coverage of their own, will suffer if their parents become sick, cannot work and cannot receive care.

Why wouldn't we expand KanCare? Kansans already pay for it. It would bring health care jobs to the state, and would help to slow the decline of rural health care. And, incidentally, working people would be able to access life-saving care.

If you have a story to share about health care coverage, come to our health care event tomorrow night in Shawnee, KS.

  • Time to Act! Medicaid Expansion in Kansas - Shawnee, KS
    A discussion and action forum hosted by MainStream and the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. A short panel will be followed by small group discussion and action! Bring your stories of how Medicaid benefits your family or work.
    - Tue, April 16, 2019
    - 5:30 to 7 pm
    - Johnny's Tavern, Shawnee, KS
    - RSVP now

Then be sure to call or email your Kansas State Senator and ask them to vote for expansion when the Legislature is back in session. There are more than 150,000 reasons to do so.

Do more than vote.

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