Expanding Medicaid coverage for Kansans has always been a no-brainer for people concerned about health care for the needy.
It deserves to pass out of the Kansas House Health and Human Services committee if its members vote Monday on the idea. That would make a lot of sense, as the Alliance for Healthy Kansas points out.
Alas, even if that happens — and that’s a long shot — hard-hearted Gov. Sam Brownback and far too many Republicans in the Legislature continue to staunchly stand against expanding KanCare.
Oh, they’ve long had their bogus excuses. It’s going to cost too much money is the favorite. Yet the federal government, through taxpayers across America, will help pay for most of the expenses.
But since Kansas has rejected expansion, an estimated $1.6 billion in taxes from Sunflower State residents has been sent to help other states that have decided to take better care of some of their neediest residents. These have included states led by Republican governors. In some cases, these governors once had the same attitude as Brownback — ignore the poor — but they eventually embraced expansion and now support what it has done for their residents.
Hospitals in those states have received more money to provide the care. Jobs have been created. (Gee, Kansas doesn’t need extra employment, does it?)
If expansion can get out of the committee, that would provide another test for the “new” Kansas House, which is filled with more moderate Republicans in 2017 than it had in 2016. Some ran on the platform of providing expanded Medicaid coverage to Kansans.
But what about Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare? Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce offered a succinct answer in testifying in favor of expansion:
KanCare expansion would help tens of thousands of Kansans. It’s the right thing to do for them, for taxpayers and for the future of Kansas.