A new poll done for the Kansas Hospital Association shows that 60 percent of Kansans support expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults. Association CEO Tom Bell said that support increases to 70 percent when Kansans learn that saying "no" to expansion would cost the state $800 million in increased federal funding.
"Regardless of whether or not we take advantage of this opportunity, our folks in Kansas are going to continue to pay taxes to the federal government, and those tax moneys are going to go to fund Medicaid expansion in some other state," Bell said.
Hospitals are lobbying legislators and Governor Sam Brownback to approve the expansion, which is an optional part of the federal health reform law. Brownback – an opponent of the reform law – hasn't made a decision on whether to expand the program next year.