Rep. Jessie Branson, D-Lawrence, introduced a resolution in the House Public Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday that asks the U.S. Congress to take action to provide affordable health insurance for all citizens.
Mrs. Branson, vice chair of the Commission on Services for the Medically Indigent and Homeless that has been studying health care issues for the last two years, said the lack of access to medical services to poor people has become such a big problem that it must be acted on nationally by Congress.
Through the commission's study, she said, "We know at least 16 percent of all Kansans have no access to health care. And many thousands more have inadequate access."
At least 38 million people across the country have no health care insurance, she said.
The resolution she presented in the committee, Mrs. Branson said, is part of an effort to make people, and fellow legislators, aware of the problem.
"The principal purpose is to give the extreme problem we have with access to health care nationally, as well as in the state, more visibility," she said.
The resolution says the increasing cost of providing health care services is burdening the budget of every state.
"The need for providing basic health care services to all citizens is urgent, and the solution to this national problem must be found at the national level," the resolution says.
Mrs. Branson said she expects the resolution to be discussed in committee and then passed to the full House for debate.