Healthcare and Community Members Urge U.S. Senators to Protect the Health of Kansas Families
Recently, healthcare organizations and community members signed a letter urging Senators Roberts and Moran to protect health care in Kansas and reject the AHCA. Read their letter below:
|The Honorable Pat Roberts
United States Senate
109 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
|The Honorable Jerry Moran
United States Senate
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
June 14, 2017
Dear Senators Roberts and Moran:
As organizations that represent tens of thousands of Kansans, we are writing to urge you to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Members of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas wrote to both of you in January to urge you to avoid repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without putting in place a credible replacement. We asked that any changes made to the ACA focus on protecting and expanding affordable coverage to Kansans, as well as improving quality and value.
Unfortunately, the House version of the AHCA will result in massive coverage losses in Kansas and across the nation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nonpartisan scorekeeper for federal legislation, estimates that under the AHCA, 23 million fewer Americans will have health coverage in 2026. Tens of thousands of them will be Kansans. Others, primarily older and lower income Kansans, will see significant increases in their premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Those living with preexisting conditions could be priced out of the market and lose access to critical care.
Most concerning to us, however, is the impact the AHCA will have on Medicaid. Per capita caps, coupled with cuts of more than $830 billion over the next decade, will devastate this program. The Urban Institute estimates that Kansas would lose at least $1 billion in federal funding. This loss will strain the state budget and result in cuts in eligibility and services.
Most Medicaid beneficiaries are children, Kansans with disabilities, and seniors. They are the ones who will be harmed by these cuts. Significant reductions in Medicaid revenue will also threaten the viability of hospitals and other health care providers, especially in rural communities.
Beyond protecting Medicaid, we urge you to preserve Kansas’ ability to expand the program. Medicaid expansion enjoys broad support and was passed overwhelmingly by the Kansas legislature. The AHCA, however, prohibits Kansas from joining the 31 other states that have expanded the program. This prohibition takes away the opportunity to enhance access to care for more than 150,000 Kansans, protect hospitals and rural communities, and create jobs. Without expansion, federal funding to Kansas will be permanently disadvantaged relative to other states.
We urge you to reject the House version of the AHCA and say no to per capita caps, cuts to Medicaid, and the prohibition on Medicaid expansion. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to strengthen and improve the health care system.
|Alliance for a Healthy Kansas
Agape Health Clinic
American Heart Association
Central Plains Area Agency on Aging
Community Action Partnership
Communities Creating Opportunity
Community Health Center in Cowley County, Inc.
Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
Disability Rights Center of Kansas
Easterseals Capper Foundation
Falling Forward Foundation
Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Health Reform Resource Project
HealthCore Clinic, Inc.
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Johnson County Mental Health
KanCare Advocates Network
Kansas Action for Children
Kansas Advocates for Better Care
Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU)
Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities (k4ad)
Kansas Association of Community Action Programs
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.
|Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
Kansas Farmers Union
Kansas Home Care Association
Kansas Hospital Association
Labette Assistance Center
Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital
Medical Service Bureau, Inc.
Minds Matter LLC
Mother & Child Health Coalition
NAMI Kansas – National Alliance on Mental Illness
Oral Health Kansas, Inc.
REACH Healthcare Foundation
Rosedale Development Association
SouthWest Kansas Area Agency On Aging
Topeka Independent Living Resource Center
Unified Community Services of Johnson County
Women for Kansas – Wichita
Women for Kansas, League of Women Voters
Via Christi Health, Inc.