To the editor:
Our governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid to more Kansans steals from all Kansans. For the nearly 135,000 uninsured adults and nearly 22,000 uninsured children who are unable to qualify for basic health care in its current form, for 4,000 newly affordable Kansas jobs in the health care fields and for you and me, fellow federal taxpayer, our governor’s denial of Medicaid expansion is a wholesale withholding of what we have paid for and deserve.
Expanding Medicaid for those with incomes below 138 percent of poverty ($15,856 for a single adult, $7.63 per hour working full time) will result in lower medical insurance premiums for almost everyone. With basic care more available, fewer people will need to make unsupported, unnecessarily expensive ER visits. With affordable basic health care, we will have a healthier and more productive workforce as well.
Kansas is the tenth most generous state in supporting the federal government. Our state got back just 71 cents for every federal tax dollar collected in 2012 (30 other states got returns between $1.01 and $4.32 per tax dollar) down from $1.38 in 2009. We can’t afford Sam’s rejection of federal support, starving Kansas to Third World status in order to support his East Coast friends. Brownbackistan is not a funny joke.
To pay with our pocketbooks is bad and stupid; to pay with the health of our citizens, families and workforce is immoral and repugnant. Sam, please, let us enjoy federal support for the sake of health care for all Kansans. Expand Medicaid for people in need.