Ximena M. Garcia: Medicaid expansion wisest use of taxpayer dollars
By Ximena Garcia | Nov. 27, 2019
“Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!” is a silly adage no one would ever think to intentionally do. But that will happen to us Kansans if our elected officials don’t adopt straight Medicaid expansion.
Straight expansion means increasing the eligibility for Medicaid (health insurance for the poor) to include Kansans who earn up to 138% of the poverty line, compared to the current level where adults are essentially ineligible. For a family of four, that is a gross annual salary of $34,638 — a gross monthly income of less than $3,000. Contrary to some rhetoric out there, these are not wealthy people gaming the system.
National data show most adult Medicaid enrollees work, with 62% of adults enrolled in Medicaid working either full- or part-time. Thirty-seven percent either attend school, are caregivers or are in poor health and can’t work. Only 6% of adults who receive Medicaid do not work for the reason categorized as “other.”