TOPEKA, Kan. – Last week, the Kansas State Legislature completed another session and left the critical issue of Medicaid expansion unresolved, despite bipartisan support from state voters to do so. State legislators are going on an 8-month break at the same time the state is restarting eligibility redeterminations for Medicaid. This process will take away health insurance from 16,000 Kansans. Right now, 150,000 Kansans are already in the coverage gap because the legislature refuses to expand Medicaid.
Below is a statement on behalf of Megan Word, Kansas government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in reaction.
“Last week’s action to close yet another session without ensuring affordable health coverage for 150,000 Kansans marks yet another day where lawmakers directly put their constituents’ health at risk.
“Their political stalling is not a light matter for Kansas families touched by cancer: it’s life or death.
“Numerous delays on the issue ignore the needs of the cancer patients and the daily obstacles they endure.
“Cancer patients and their families are among the most affected by continued inaction on Medicaid expansion and we will not allow the daily, lived experience of over 150,000 Kansans who are forced to forgo the lifesaving care and treatment they need to survive to be forgotten and their voices silenced.
“The timing is particularly cruel for Kansas families because the Medicaid rules changed on May 1st and annual Medicaid renewals are back. As a result, thousands of additional Kansans are now at risk of losing their health coverage.
“Here in Kansas, where lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid, many people who lose their Medicaid coverage will have no other coverage options.
“Legislative leadership has the opportunity to change such a dire reality with one vote: they should act on their responsibility to stand up for the well-being of Kansas families.”