By: Shannon Portillo and Jade Piros de Carvalho | July 30, 2021
As local governments across Kansas work on their budgets this summer, counties and cities are struggling to keep mill levies stable amid revenue shortfalls and skyrocketing material costs.
Unfortunately, state lawmakers’ refusal to expand Medicaid left federal dollars on the table that could have offset local tax burdens. To date, Kansas has forfeited more than $4.9 billion because of the Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Kansas will lose an additional $450 million in American Rescue Plan funding by continuing to not act.
Kansas is one of only 12 states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid despite it being a budget positive policy and significant financial incentives through ARPA. Kansans pay the same share of federal taxes as residents in other states, yet they don’t enjoy the financial gains and improved community health and safety or economic development that Medicaid-expansion states benefit from.