Testimony Supporting Medicaid Expansion, SB 252

This is testimony Mainstream is providing in support of SB 252, Medicaid (KanCare) Expansion in Kansas, at the hearing on January 23, 2020. Medicaid Expansion in Kansas would allow 150,000 hardworking Kansans who fall into the health care coverage gap to access health care.

Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Chair, Sen. Gene Suellentrop
Hearing: January 23, 2020, 9:30 am, 118-N

Position – SUPPORT SB 252

Chair Suellentrop, and Members of the Committee,

The MainStream Coalition supports SB 252.

The MainStream Coalition was founded 27 years ago by a sitting Republican State Representative, a sitting Democratic State Representative, and two active members of the clergy, among others. Our Board and membership are bipartisan, and our organization is nonpartisan. Our membership is strongest in Northeast Kansas, but we have members across the state. The concerns we bring are shared by these Kansans, from a range of political identities.

For much of the last decade, the MainStream Coalition has been testifying and educating in favor of KanCare expansion. We affirm that all Kansans have the right to access affordable healthcare without discrimination based on socioeconomic status or geography. We uphold this right of Kansans to health, safety, and peace of mind in their personal lives, in their civic communities, and in wider society.

We are excited to see this bipartisan compromise bill introduced. Expansion will not only improve the health outcomes of those Kansas individuals and families who would receive care—among them thousands of veterans—it will also improve the health of Kansas herself. Independent studies have shown that closing the Medicaid gap in Kansas would incur a minimal cost to the state, while creating thousands of jobs, protecting rural communities, and controlling escalating insurance costs that threaten health care for every Kansan. Healthy, supportive communities promote engagement, personal success, and a stronger economy.

This bill is a carefully crafted compromise that has found support from both sides of the issues. We strongly urge the committee to avoid adding barriers that some Kansans will not be able to meet, such as work requirements. We also ask the committee to avoid adding measures that will incur further delays.

Now is the time for Kansas to stand up for all of its citizens, to enhance our standing among the states, and to bring healthier outcomes, more jobs, and millions of dollars of health care funding to our citizens.

We urge you to support SB 252. It is time to get this done for Kansans. Thank you,

Michael Poppa
Executive Director, MainStream Coalition

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