WELLINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Advocates for Medicaid expansion in Kansas stopped in Wellington on Thursday during their statewide tour to make their case.

They say expansion could help save the state’s rural hospitals from closing, in addition to providing healthcare coverage to more than 150,000 Kansans. They’re urging residents to tell their lawmakers.

“We’ve got to let them know that it’s not acceptable. We are hurting ourselves more than anything. The four states around us all have it now. I believe we’re one of only 12 who have not done this,” said Deb Shepard, labor rights advocate.

The advocates also claim expansion would create about 23,000 jobs in Kansas. The tour was sponsored by the Kansas Democratic Party.