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Voting for Medicaid expansion in Kansas
Giselle Sanchez
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There are currently thousands of Americans in the state of Kansas who do not have access to insurance. This is due to many reasons, whether it be because they do not meet eligibility requirements, they are unsure how to access these benefits, or simply because they are not aware that the help is available. No matter the reason, this is a problem in our state. 

Studies have shown that Kansas has a higher than the national average rate of uninsured citizens. The United States Census Bureau has data that shows that 250,000 Kansas were uninsured in 2022. This is a problem because this means that there are people in Kansas who are not having access to adequate physical health care, dental care, behavioral health care, etc. Many people are reluctant to even go to a doctor’s office, even if they are suffering from health problems, just out of fear that they won’t be able to pay their medical bill. The current Medicaid insurance in the state of Kansas (KanCare) does provide insurance benefits for many citizens, but this is not enough. There are still a large number of individuals who do not meet the requirements to be eligible to receive KanCare. Some of these requirements include: you must live in Kansas; you must be a citizen or immigrant with a certain status; you must be pregnant or; be responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger; or have a disability; and many other requirements. 

It can be difficult for residents of the state of Kansas, who do not meet the requirements to be eligible for KanCare, to obtain any or other insurance because insurance can be very costly. By expanding the amount of Medicaid that is available and having less restrictive requirements for eligibility of the KanCare program, we can not only boost the economy, but allow people to be able to access adequate health care that they should be entitled to access. Expanding Medicare would boost the economy because more people will seek health-care services now that they have insurance, and the companies/businesses that provide these services will be getting revenue from the insurance companies. Thus, expanding Medicaid would not only benefit individuals, but also businesses in the United States as well. 

There are many actions that a person can take in order to achieve this goal of expanded Medicaid in the State of Kansas. One of those actions, and the most crucial action, is to vote. By voting for policy makers who support Medicaid and would like to expand Medicaid, your vote will count as these policy makers will advocate for the individuals who are in favor of this action. Another action that a person can take in order to achieve the goal of expanding Medicaid in Kansas is to share their opinion and make their voice heard. Even by just sharing your opinion with the people around you, this opinion can spread very quickly, and could get more people on board with the idea. No matter which way you choose to advocate for this cause, you can feel good knowing that you have the best interest of others. 

Giselle is a student in the Social Work program at Fort Hays State University.