Facts show Medicaid expansion helps state

Too often, opponents of Medicaid expansion – such as Jeff Glendening, state director of Americans for Prosperity (Jan. 12 Opinion) – point to the costs associated with expansion but fail to include the facts about how savings and economic growth offset those costs.

For instance, expanding KanCare would cost Kansas about $57.5 million in 2017, which is the only number opponents of expansion focus on. However, the cost of expansion would be offset by about $126.7 million in state savings and new revenue. Expanding KanCare would net the state $69.2 million, benefiting the state’s bottom line, creating jobs and improving the state’s health.

Glendening also highlights half-truths about other states that are benefiting from expansion. Rather than argue about statistics, let’s look at what governors are saying and doing to promote and protect their programs.

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich said, “Thank God we expanded Medicaid, because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people.” In a different interview, Kasich said, “Our hospitals needed Medicaid expansion. It has worked very well in this state.”

Like Kasich, Republican governors in Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada, Massachusetts and Arizona have urged Congress and the president-elect to protect Medicaid expansion in their states.

The facts show that expanding KanCare is good for Kansas.

David Jordan,

Executive Director | Alliance for a Healthy Kansas