METL Supports KanCare Bridge Creation, Medicaid Expansion

METL Supports KanCare Bridge Creation, Medicaid Expansion

Testimony in Support of SB 38
Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee
February 14, 2018

Madame Chair and Members of the Committee,

The Chambers of Commerce of Manhattan, Emporia, Topeka, and Lawrence (METL) would like to express their full support for Senate Bill 38, which creates the KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas program. The Act works within the current KanCare program to provide affordable health care coverage for over 150,000 low-income Kansans at no additional cost to Kansas taxpayers.

Kansas has not taken advantage of the federal dollars available to states that develop solutions to close the Medicaid coverage gap, resulting in the loss of more than $2.4 billion in potential tax revenue for our state. Kansas hospitals continue to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in services with no reimbursement.

The four Chambers that make up the METL Coalition represent more than 3,000 Kansas businesses. We believe that having access to affordable, quality health care is critical for working Kansans. Kansans who have access to health care have better overall health because of better preventative care and better control of chronic conditions.

In addition to lost wages, the long-term costs associated with those unable to receive preventative care have a negative economic impact on communities. Without KanCare expansion, the uninsured will continue to seek access to healthcare through emergency room visits, which leads to increased costs for all Kansas taxpayers.

Healthy Kansans make up a healthy workforce which drives the economic engine of our state. Please support Senate Bill 38.

Respectfully,

METL – The Chambers of Commerce of Manhattan, Emporia, Topeka, and Lawrence

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