By Bob Grover and Jim Calvert | June 18, 2020

A continuing health care controversy in Kansas is whether or not to expand KanCare. Here we summarize the issue and where we stand today.

One of the legacies left to us by former president Barack Obama was a medical insurance program frequently called “Obamacare” (actual name — the Affordable Care Act). Although the U. S. Supreme Court made the program weaker than intended, it did set two precedents in medical health care. The first was that no one could be denied coverage based on preexisting conditions, and the second was that a dependent child could stay on the parents’ policy until he or she reaches the age of 24.

Another legacy is the expansion of Medicaid, which continues to be an issue in Kansas. First, let us be sure that we understand Medicaid. The statistics that follow are taken from the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas (www.expandkancare.com).

Medicaid is a state and federal health program, largely managed by the state and provides health insurance to low-income families who meet certain criteria. In Kansas, 55 percent of the funding is from the federal government, and 45 percent is from the state. While different states have different requirements, the program in Kansas is called “KanCare” and is administrated by companies under contract with the state.

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