Kansans react to Brownback’s veto of medicaid expansion


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As expected, Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the Medicaid expansion bill.

Though it would give health insurance to at least 150,000 uninsured Kansans, Brownback has been vocal about not supporting the expansion.

Ron Anderson has been uninsured for about five years.

“I got a letter letting me know that my insurance was going to be cut due to the governor’s cutbacks,” says Anderson.

He works two part-time jobs but still doesn’t make enough money qualify for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act.

He represents thousands of Kansans without insurance about 7,000 of them go to Hunter Health Clinic each year.

“People routinely either, A, make the choice not to seek care, or they, B, put off their care,” says Michael Hunter.

Director of Development Michael Hunter says it is regular people coming in, uninsured.

Thursday bill 2044 was vetoed by the governor. A bill that would have expanded Medicaid to help people like Ron Anderson. Lawmakers in favor of the bill says the governor’s veto neglects the health of thousands of Kansans and also pro-business ventures. Those who voted against say it would cost the state millions and the burden would ultimately hit taxpayers the hardest.

“So these are real people whose health is not being taken care of because we are not willing to take that step,” says Hunter.

A reality Anderson is too familiar with.

“Just a trip to the E.R. you know, it racks up the bill. The jobs I have that will take all of my paycheck. Well, there’s your home living,” says Anderson.

He says he hopes Medicaid is eventually expanded so he can have the comfort of being insured.

“Unless there is a quick cure for diabetes you know I am going to be a diabetic for the rest of my life. My heart condition you know I have different problems with the heart.”

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