Sandy Praeger: Medicaid expansion makes sense

By Sandy Praeger | Feb. 25, 2020

I am pleased to see the bipartisan effort from the Kansas House and Senate to expand Medicaid in Kansas. This is a long time coming, but as some would say it is “better late than never.”

While still in my position as insurance commissioner, I frequently was called upon to talk about the merits of expanding Medicaid and to refute some of the misleading arguments for not expanding.

First, I want to agree with others, including the Kansas Hospital Association, which points out that there will be no additional tax liability to the state of Kansas. The generous federal match of 90% federal dollars and only 10% state dollars covers the cost of expansion to the additional 150,000 eligible individuals in Kansas.

It’s also important to know that this match is for new eligible individuals, which in Kansas is a larger number than some states because our existing Medicaid eligibility is so low. These matching funds at the federal level come in part from federal taxes that individuals pay to the federal treasury each year.

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