There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all our lives. We’ve had to radically shift our professional and personal lives to help flatten the curve. It’s a great sacrifice but important to our community health.
The Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce and our peers across Kansas are working hard to help safely reopen our economy. We are concerned about the economic effects the coronavirus outbreak has had on Kansas communities.
Expanding the eligibility guidelines for KanCare is one tool that absolutely should be included in any plan to restore the state economy.
The benefits of expansion are three-fold. First, expansion will jumpstart Kansas’ economy by bringing nearly $700 million of new funding into the state. Those health care dollars can help rebuild local economies and help us prepare should we face another round of COVID-19.
Second, KanCare expansion will help businesses get back on their feet and play a critical role in helping our healthcare industry recover financially by reducing uncompensated care costs, increasing revenues, and allowing providers to see more new patients. Expansion will also help create more than 13,000 new jobs in Kansas.
Lastly, expanding KanCare now can help those working on the front lines of COVID-19, as many are uninsured and could be covered if our state expanded KanCare.
Lawmakers should make the choice now to commit to Kansas by expanding KanCare. Now is the right time.
Debra Teufel, president/CEO, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce