Newsletter - April 3, 2017
Pages left to right: Abigail Dowell, Angel Cruz, Priscilla Vasquez,
Paiton Harp, Brady Kappelmann, Josh King
Had a great time with 6 pages on March 27th
. Abigail Dowell, Angel Cruz, Priscilla Vasquez, Paiton Harp, Brady Kappelmann, and Josh King. Did a great job and represented Liberal well.
Last week, the Governor vetoed House Bill 2044, which is a proposal to expand Medicaid in Kansas and provide health insurance for more adults in our state. Today, I voted against this bill and wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my reasons for doing so.
Every Kansan deserves access to health care – our children, our seniors, the disabled and working adults alike. I believe this on a very personal level and take seriously our responsibility to fight for what’s right. I could not in good conscience vote for this particular proposal because I believe it would expand coverage for one set of Kansans while jeopardizing services for others in need. Many of our current Medicaid eligible populations struggles to find providers willing to provide services at our current reimbursement levels.
Right now, our state’s Medicaid program includes eligible children up to age 19, pregnant mothers, Kansans with disabilities, low-income parents, and low-income seniors. Their coverage is in no way affected by this bill.
What House Bill 2044 would do is make working adults who make under a certain income eligible for Medicaid. This is estimated to include 150,000 more adults at a cost to taxpayers of at least $70 million.
Our state and our families are battling a long list of serious issues – protecting our local schools, balancing the budget, stopping the borrowing from KPERS, and generating adequate revenues to fund essential services like health care, law enforcement and mental health resources in our community. Earlier this session I supported a revenue plan to get our state back on track, and I voted to override Governor Brownback when he blocked that plan from going into effect. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to override the Governor, which leaves the state’s budget problems unresolved.
With the budget unresolved and the Senate unable to pass a revenue plan, I am gravely concerned about the families and the services in our community that will fall through the cracks if we add more costs to the budget at such an uncertain time. Prior Medicaid proposals had work requirements for recipients, protections so that Kansas taxpayers were not on the hook if federal funds became unavailable, and self-funding mechanisms to better alleviate the costs whereas the plan in House Bill 2044 does not. This means the funding for Medicaid expansion would have to come from somewhere - whether that is from increasing taxes by another $100 million, cutting more funding from our schools, or taking services away from other vulnerable Kansans.
It does not seem right to expand coverage for some in a way that jeopardizes care for others. My preference would be to take this in steps. First, getting the Legislature to balance the budget and reform our tax code. And, second, to get the state to a position where it can invest in essential services without borrowing and stealing from other areas to do so. My commitment to our district remains what it has always been - to carefully analyze the facts, to seek out your input and experience, and to balance the needs and costs for our families as best I can.
“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” Winston Churchill
Please reach out to me regarding issues with our state government that I can help with. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This insures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Please contact me anytime. My email is: Shannon.email@example.com
. Topeka Office Phone: (785) 296-7466 Office at the Capitol: 561W (fifth floor west wing) 300 SW 10th
Ave., Topeka KS 66612