Topeka, KS (STL.News) The Kansas Health Institute report indicates private-sector employers would save between $39.6 million and $80.6 million if Kansas opted into Medicaid expansion. Kansas businesses currently employ about 139,000 people in industries like health care, food services and manufacturing, who would qualify with the expansion of KanCare, the program through which the state administers Medicaid.
- Democratic Governor Laura Kelly has pushed Medicaid expansion under the 2012 Affordable Care Act as a top policy priority. Two attempts to tack on bill amendments expanding Medicaid were rebuffed in the House and the Senate earlier this year.
- Thirty-eight states have passed or implemented Medicaid expansion measures, including all bordering Kansas state. Proponents of expansion argue expansion would serve between 120,000 to 160,00 people across the state.
- According to the KHI report, the occupations that stand to benefit most from expansion include waiters, teaching assistants, nursing assistants and cashiers. Several industries stand to save millions through expansion, including agriculture, which the report estimates would save between $2.3 million and $4.7 million.
- In rejecting expansion attempts this session, leadership in both the House and Senate indicated they had little interest in amending the program to include “able-bodied” Kansans. Expansion would cover those earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level, and their children.