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March 21, 2019

Radio show educates on Medicaid expansion impact

Update: KS House passes KanCare expansion bill today 69-54

KWBW Morning Show interview with Mike Garrett, Ken Johnson, and David Jordan

Hutchinson radio station KWBW host John Brennan this morning interviewed Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System President/CEO Ken Johnson, Health Fund President David Jordan, and Horizons Mental Health Center CEO Mike Garrett to explore current healthcare challenges and increase awareness and understanding of the impact Medicaid expansion would have on our communities and our state. The recording is available here – read on for some quick highlights.

[Jordan] Up to 150,000 Kansans stand to gain coverage from this policy change but it also means we’d be bringing back $1.9 million/day from the federal government to pay for it – so it would be done in a very budget-neutral way for Kansas.

[Jordan] It will protect hospitals like Ken’s [HRHS], but really a lot of the hospitals out west that depend on Hutchinson to provide that more complex care – they’re in dire straits, financially vulnerable. Half of the uncompensated care costs they have would be wiped off the books if we expand Medicaid. So it would shore them up, make those communities healthier, and really stabilize property taxes.

[Jordan] It’s also going to create jobs. KS does a lot to create jobs in communities across the state and this is really a significant policy change that’s not going to cost the state much – not a lot of economic incentives that will have to be put on the table. But it’s really about helping our neighbors be healthier.

[Brennan] Go back to what you said about stabilizing property taxes – tell me what that means.

[Jordan] If you look at the math across the state, the highest rates of uninsured people in KS are in western KS communities, rural KS communities. So you have uninsured rates as high at 18%. Those people are going to hospital emergency rooms. In order to make sure those hospitals can stay open, a lot of western KS communities are supporting those hospitals with property taxes.

Listen to the full interview for more from Ken, David, and Mike on challenges in the healthcare system and the impact of KanCare expansion on health in our state.

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