Brownback's duplicity on Medicaid expansion
The Kansas City Star
Gov. Sam Brownback says he is only looking after the best interests of taxpayers as he resists efforts to spend more state tax money on keeping poor Kansans healthy.
Either that, or he doesn’t want to help poor people get access to better health care.
Let’s look at the evidence:
On Friday, a state-bought study said it would cost an extra $600 million over the next decade to expand Medicaid and other health insurance plans for low-income residents, if the state followed the rules of the federal Affordable Care Act.
That’s an average of $60 million a year to help make Kansans healthier. Why is the governor resisting calls to do that? Let the governor explain, through a statement released by his spokeswoman:
“This impact would be significant and would directly affect the ability of the state to fund other core responsibilities like K-12 education and public safety.”
Well, let’s see if the governor was speaking out last year just as strongly when state legislators were getting ready to cut the income tax for well-off Kansans, which would reduce tax revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Let’s see if Brownback was standing up strong for schools and public safety and other “core responsibilities” and telling the Legislature it was going to have to rethink that policy.
But wait. That’s not what happened at all.
Instead, the governor championed the tax deductions. Why? Because he claimed they wouldn’t hurt the state’s budget, that more people would move to Kansas and that, in reality, more tax revenue would be created by cutting taxes and boosting the state economy.
That’s interesting: When it came to giving tax breaks to the well off, Brownback tried to look at both sides.
So why isn’t he doing that with the potential for Medicaid expansion?
Why isn’t Sam Brownback looking at the positive stuff that will happen if 200,000 more people have medical care in the next decade?
Why isn’t Sam Brownback looking at the positive aspects of having fewer people going to emergency rooms, and fewer people being a financial burden on those who have private insurance?
Why isn’t Sam Brownback pointing out that - if people get better health care coverage - they can get jobs and contribute tax revenues to the state of Kansas?
Brownback needs to provide some answers on his reluctance to expand Medicaid.
Because right now, it appears he and other Republicans don’t want to help low-income residents get health care coverage so they can have a better chance of contributing to society.