“The social contract between government and its citizens inherently requires that the former do no harm to the latter,” said David Toland of Thrive Allen County, during Monday’s KanCare Expansion Rally and Press Conference held at the Statehouse Monday. Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to Governor Brownback and his administration as they continue to refuse Medicaid expansion and attempt to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider for thousands of Kansans.
A diverse coalition of grassroots partners from across the state representing health care, faith and business communities came together at the request of Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, which organized the event. A live display updating in real time illustrated the over $1 billion dollars in aid Kansas is forfeiting by refusing to expand the KanCare program. Speaker after speaker admonished Governor Brownback and the state legislature which adjourned without taking up this critical issue.
Dr. Eric Voth, Vice-President of Primary Care at Stormont-Vail Healthcare in Topeka, was the most vocal in noting that not only is Kansas turning away much needed federal dollars, but the health care industry is a tremendous job creator for communities when more people can access the services health centers provide. Alliance for Healthy Kansas estimates expansion of KanCare could create more than 3,000 additional jobs.
“Hospitals are a fundamental critical economic element in many communities around the state,” Voth said. His facility, Stormont-Vail is currently the number one non governmental employer in the state. “Health care is good business and good business for the state,” he went on to say.
Kansas Manager of Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri, Elise Higgins, expressed pride that “advocates for health care access are organized, engaged and not going anywhere. We will stay at the forefront of this fight to make sure all Kansans have health care they need at a cost they can afford.”