PARSONS, KS – As discussions continue in Missouri to expand Medicaid, a group in Kansas is trying to appeal to lawmakers.
“We’re one of only 12 states that hasn’t already expanded eligibility for Medicaid.” Says April Holman, Alliance For A Healthy Kansas Exec. Director.
As it stands right now, thousands of Kansans do not qualify for sufficient health care.
They fall into what’s called the “Medicaid Gap,” making too little or too much to fall into any form of assistance.
“For childless adults, that’s everyone, you can make as little as nothing and still not qualify for any assistance.” Says Holman.
This is where people like Michael Priesmeyer are left in a difficult situation.
“Since I don’t have any federal disability, then I don’t have any Kansas medicaid, and since I don’t have a job, I can’t get marketplace healthcare. And the medicine I need cost over a thousand dollars a month.” Says Michael Priesmeyer & Vicki Pribble, Parsons Residents.
Right now Michael is on his mom’s social security, but she’s more worried about what’s going to happen to him if she’s not around.
“When I pass my social security is gone for him and so I worry about where he’s gonna live, how he’s going to manage, you know will he be another homeless street person, what’s going to happen with his life.” Says Priesmeyer and Pribble.
This is where the “Alliance for Healthy Kansas” comes in.
It’s hoping to help roughly 165,000 people like Michael through appealing to Kansas policy makers, by showing expansion can help more outside of the consumers.
“Businesses, particularly small businesses would save a considerable amount of money, somewhere in the range of 30 to 80 million dollars a year. This is actually beneficial not just to the consumers who you would think of first, and certainly care about, but the providers who are treating them and the businesses in our community.” Says Holman.