Access to affordable healthcare is one the most critical issues facing Kansans.
Access to affordable healthcare is one the most critical issues facing Kansans. Since 1991, Kansas has gone from being the eighth healthiest state in the nation to the 25th in 2017. This decline has occurred through Democrat and Republican administrations. In short, we have been failing Kansans in the area of health policy for over two decades.
Greg Orman believes that we must prioritize addressing care gaps in Kansas—there are roughly 240,000 Kansans who aren’t covered by health insurance. Regardless of the reason, coverage gaps lead to higher system wide costs as patients get care in the wrong place (the ER) for the wrong reason (chronic conditions) at the wrong time (too late). If we address these care gaps, we can improve the health of Kansans, improve our economy, and help people live fruitful, productive lives in Kansas.
Greg will also give responsible Medicaid expansion the full support of the Governor’s office. Without Medicaid expansion, we send a terrible message to hard working Kansans who don’t make a lot of money: we tell them if they get sick, they should quit their job—that’s the wrong message. We need to be building pathways so that people can improve their lives and contribute more, not throw up obstacles. A $12 an hour job in Kansas without health insurance is much less desirable than a $12 an hour job in one of the 33 states that have expanded Medicaid.
As Greg has traveled the state and spoken to the administrators at many of the regional hospitals, it has become clear that the state’s healthcare infrastructure in the state is on the brink of failing financially. Medicaid expansion would help shore up our healthcare infrastructure that so many Kansans rely on for care.
We can expand Medicaid in a responsible way and ensure some level of patient participation in the costs as their incomes rise. This will also allow us move to a population health approach that keeps people healthy instead of simply taking care of them when they’re sick. The net result should be significantly expanded coverage with very little cost to the state of Kansas.
Greg will veto any efforts to take away Medicare from Kansans.
“I think we send a terrible message to those that are working but not making high incomes in Kansas, and that’s, ‘If you get sick, quit your job, because it may be the only way you can afford health care,’ ” Orman said.
Greg supports access to women’s reproductive healthcare services consistent with the current law because he will not go back to a time when women did these procedures in unsafe or unsanitary environments.
We cannot abandon women. These are tough choices that are not made lightly. We need to help them through, either way. This is an issue where partisanship tends to mask the common ground that exists. All sides on this issue would like to see fewer abortions. The question is how do we get there.
In order to reduce the number of abortions we need to look at the root causes. And the root causes are access to contraception, economic issues and education. In Colorado, young people who came into family planning clinics were given the option of long run contraception; as a result, they saw the abortion rate over five years decline by 35% among that group of people.
Greg understands this is a big issue for a lot of people—and he understands that a lot of people who are pro-life come to that position out of a place of love and caring and faith—especially where state funding of non-abortion services at Planned Parenthood is concerned; but he also knows we are not going to reduce the number of abortions by making it more difficult for women to get contraceptives and health care services.