Kansas rate of uninsured is dropping, but more has to be done

October 7, 2015

The following letter was authored by KHF President and CEO Steve Coen and submitted to publications across Kansas, including the Topeka Capital Journal, where it was published on Oct. 4, 2015. Coen urges Kansans to consider Medicaid Expansion as a way to increase the percentage of Kansans with health insurance.

Yet again, Kansas is under performing when it comes to taking care of our people, and that’s devastating.

When it comes to reducing the number of uninsured in our state, we are lagging. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the rate of uninsured Kansans dropped 17 percent from 2013 to 2014. That’s good news, some say. But let’s compare.

Kentucky lowered its uninsured rate by 41 percent, West Virginia came in at 39 percent, and Rhode Island cut its rate 36 percent.

The common factor: The top states have expanded Medicaid. At the Kansas Health Foundation, our mission is to improve the health of Kansans. Medicaid expansion is an opportunity to reduce the health care gap that disadvantages many people in our state. While the foundation invests millions of dollars each year in health programs and services, our resources cannot make up for the challenges that come with being uninsured.

It is encouraging that at least 57,000 more Kansans had health insurance in 2014, compared to the year before. But more has to be done. Medicaid expansion is a sound investment for Kansas.

Steve Coen, Kansas Health Foundation President and CEO


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