Kansas Reflector: Kansans will benefit from health provisions in Build Back Better legislation

By: Suzanne Wikle | November 30, 2021

The past two years have been hard for many Kansans. Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis has been stressful, and the resulting economic crisis has only added to the stress. Our neighbors who lack access to affordable health insurance are acutely aware of both challenges.

Fortunately, policymakers have solutions within reach to alleviate unnecessary hardships.

The Build Back Better legislation under consideration in Congress will provide affordable health care to Kansans, directly alleviating the economic stress that accompanies medical care for those who are uninsured. The time to take action and provide this relief to Kansans is more urgent than ever. Ensuring the health provisions of Build Back Better become law will lower out-of-pocket costs for health care, allowing Kansans to spend their money on other critical needs such as food, housing, and transportation.

Because Kansas has not expanded Medicaid, more than 100,000 of our neighbors earn too little to receive federal dollars that help offset marketplace coverage and are, therefore, left without an affordable health insurance option. Many of these Kansans are restaurant servers, construction workers, child care providers, and health aides for senior citizens. These hard-working Kansans were recognized as essential when the pandemic hit, but our state policies don’t reflect their importance to our communities and economy.

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