As of 2021, 12% of adults still lack health care insurance coverage; in low income households, more than 25% are uninsured. These factors create a tremendous financial burden for many families: 1 in 6 of Kansans with credit reports have medical debt in collections.
When families lack access to affordable care, it harms their health and the health of the community as a whole:
- One in 3 children in Kansas don’t have all recommended vaccines
- Nearly 5% of in-hospital births lack insurance coverage
- Our infant mortality rate is higher than any of our neighboring states and ranks 40th in the nation.
Many of these difficult statistics share a single contributing cause: Kansas has not expanded Medicaid expansion, while 41 other states have. But because we haven’t expanded Medicaid eligibility, more Kansans avoid medical care due to cost – and experience expensive and heartbreaking complications as a result.
I believe we can improve healthcare outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by:
- Accepting federal matching to expand Medicaid coverage in Kansas;
- Improving access to care, particularly through local clinic support in rural communities; and
- Strengthening broadband access in support of telehealth and virtual care services.