FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:

Emma O’Brien
emma@kansasdems.org
September 20, 2022

KANSAS REFLECTOR: KANSAS UNINSURED RATE NOW HIGHER THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE

Despite its necessity, popularity, Derek Schmidt still opposes Medicaid expansion

Topeka, KS – Yesterday, a new report from the Kansas Reflector revealed that Kansas’ uninsured rate has surpassed the national average, citing the state’s failure – led by Derek Schmidt and his extreme obstructionist allies in the state legislature – to expand Medicaid. According to the Reflector, “nearly 264,000 Kansans went without insurance in 2021.” Young Kansans are more likely to be uninsured than the rest of the country, and the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid is “a key factor in the gap between national and state insurance rates.”

Governor Laura Kelly has introduced a plan to expand Medicaid every year since taking office, and re-upped her commitment to Medicaid expansion at the Kansas state fair debate, promising to get it done in her second term. Meanwhile, Derek Schmidt has promised he would not support expanding Medicaid despite its necessity and popularity. Expanding Medicaid would increase access to health care for 150,000 Kansans, create 23,000 jobs, and help protect our rural hospitals. Expanding Medicaid is supported by nearly 8 out of 10 Kansans – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike.

Read more here or key quotes below:  

  • “Nationally, more and more Americans have been enrolled in health insurance… But no longer in Kansas, which now has a higher uninsurance rate than the national average rate for the first time in years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.”
  • “While Kansan enrollment in Medicaid has increased since the pandemic, with about 100,000 more people enrolled now than before the pandemic, Kansas’ decision not to expand Medicaid coverage is a key factor in the gap between national and state insurance rates.”
  • “Medicaid expansion remains a critical part of the gubernatorial race, with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly running on a platform of Medicaid expansion, while opponent Derek Schmidt says he is an ‘open-minded skeptic’ who doesn’t support expanding KanCare in its current state.” 

###