Dear Editor,

Thank goodness that the people of Wellington and surrounding areas will not be without a hospital after all. Unfortunately, rural communities such as Independence was not as lucky. I am writing to bring attention to House Bill #2064 Establishing the KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas; that if passed could help rural hospitals, the working poor, and even those who are unemployed. As I write, the amount of federal dollars that Kansas has turned down is increasing by the second. We have turned our nose up at billions of federal dollars. This money that we have turned our backs on is money earmarked for helping states shorten the health and insurance cracks that people are falling through. Billions is a lot of money to just walk away from.

The KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas would establish KanCare premiums for those who meet income guidelines. For those unemployed, it would connect them with employment specialists to help them find jobs. The Bridge could potentially have ripple effects. As more people have insurance, this is revenue for healthcare providers, clinics, and hospitals. In turn, jobs are maintained at these levels. As those who are unemployed receive assistance finding employment, then the state’s unemployment rate goes down and this means more money is inserted into our economy. My hope is that as this ripple effect occurs, more people are insured, resulting in insurance premiums going down. I can attest, as probably many can, that my cost of insurance has gone up while the quality has gone down.

The ticker for how much money Kansas has turned down and information on the KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas can be found at http://www.kha-net.org/criticalissues/kancareexpansion/. Please contact your state representative and ask them to Vote Yes for House Bill #2064. Voting Yes is a vote to save our rural communities.

Sincerely,

Angi Mann, BA studentsforhb2064@gmail.com