Gov. Kelly demands Congress pass legislation to provide affordable healthcare to over 7,000 Kansas veterans

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would provide affordable health coverage to about 165,000 Kansans, including 7,400 veterans and their spouses.

Governor Laura Kelly said she sent a letter to Congressional leadership to urge Congres to pass legislation that would create a workaround for Medicaid expansion in non-expansion states, which she believes would provide 7,400 Kansas veterans and their spouses with coverage.

“Kansas is one of twelve states that has failed to expand Medicaid, and this political obstruction has prevented 165,000 Kansans from accessing quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “My administration will continue to fight for Medicaid expansion at the state level, but until then, this federal legislation will allow us to bypass the self-destructive politics pushed by the Republican leaders in the statehouse and bring resources, jobs, and life-saving health care to our state.”

Passing House Resolution 4595, the Medicaid Saves Lives Act, or including a similar provision in the pending budget reconciliation process would allow for eligible residents of non-expansion states like Kansas to access full Medicaid coverage at no additional cost to state or federal governments said Gov. Kelly. Additionally, she said the legislation would increase federal medical assistance percentages by 10% for states that expand Medicaid. This would provide states like Kansas with 10 years to access full funding if they choose to expand Medicaid at the state level.

Currently, Gov. Kelly said Kansas is one of 12 states that has failed to expand Medicaid despite overwhelming public approval. She said the predicted economic benefits of Medicaid expansion include the following:

  • Adding nearly 23,000 new jobs in the state of Kansas;
  • Creating $17 billion in economic output through 2025;
  • Raising personal income by $6.3 billion; and
  • Saving private-sector employers up to $80.6 million.

Additionally, Gov. Kell said Medicaid expansion in Kansas would provide affordable health care to 165,000 residents who currently fall into a health coverage gap, including 7,400 veterans and their spouses. She said the move would support Kansas’ hospitals and communities as well as enhance services for mental health and substance use disorders.

“The Medicaid Saves Lives Act is the chance Kansans have been waiting for. It’s the right thing to do to support our people, our communities, and our economy,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

To read the full letter Gov. Kelly sent to Congressional leaders, click HERE.

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