The news is that the voters of Franklin County and the voters of Kansas have spoken loud and clear on this issue. Right here in Franklin County, 55.9% voted against the amendment. Those who voted “no” may think that they have done their duty—they turned out in record numbers to defeat the amendment and now they don’t need to worry. However, here’s the bad news: THIS IS NOT OVER! The Republican supermajority in the legislature has already made plans in case the amendment was defeated. They have plans to pass laws restricting the reproductive rights of women in our state as severe as some of the laws that have passed in states around us. What will stop them? We need all of you out there to vote in the upcoming general election on Nov. 8. Just like you made your voice heard on August 2, you must not stop now! We need to elect just three more Democrats to the Kansas House to break the supermajority that can now override the governor’s veto. I would like to be one of those three that make that happen. I’m running in District 59. That includes all of Franklin County with the exception of the northeast corner around and including the City of Wellsville. I need your vote in November. Let’s restore balance to our legislature!
Of course, we will need to retain Gov. Kelly in office to make sure she will still be able to veto bad legislation in the first place. With a Gov. Schmidt, it will only take a simple majority to pass bad legislation. But, you say the Supreme Court will find the legislation unconstitutional, right? Oh, they have a plan for that too. They will definitely be targeting our Supreme Court justices in the November election. Remember: retain our justices!
Here are some facts from an article by Sherman Smith on Feb. 7 in the Kansas Reflector:
“Kansas is one of 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. To participate in our current program, known here as KanCare, a family of three would have to earn less than 38% of the federal poverty limit, or less than $8,345.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states can expand Medicaid coverage to families with an income of up to 138% of the federal poverty level. For a single working mother with two children, that would mean earning less than $30,305 annually. That’s quite a difference!
Voters were given the following information before they were asked if they support Medicaid expansion: “KanCare is a health insurance program mainly for low-income children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. It covers doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, mental health care, and other basic services. In Kansas, there are strict limits on who can qualify. For example, an uninsured parent in a family of three has to earn less than $4.00 an hour to qualify. If you don’t have children, you cannot qualify at all, no matter how low your income is.”
Based on that information, 78% said they would support expansion — 65% of Republicans, 76% of unaffiliated voters and 96% of Democrats. The program had the support of 87% of women and 68% of men.”
It is time that the legislature passes Medicare Expansion. This has been delayed much too long. Republicans know that Kansans need this and want this, but they are ignoring the will of the people once again. According to Alliance for a Healthy Kansas: “Medicare Expansion would create economic growth, Kansas can tailor its program for our state’s particular needs, it protects access to care, especially in rural areas (seven rural hospitals have closed since 2015, resulting in loss of access to emergency care, surgery, and hundreds of people have lost their jobs), it helps 150,000 hardworking Kansans who cannot access coverage, it helps thousands of uninsured military veterans and their families, and it controls health insurance costs.” As of today, Kansas has forfeited over 5.7 BILLION dollars in federal funds since January 1, 2014.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues here in Kansas as well as across the nation. Depression, substance abuse, and suicide are too often going untreated. The majority of those in Kansas reporting an unmet need for mental health treatment say cost is the reason.