Kansas Hospital Association trots out misleading information to advocate for Medicaid expansion. Cindy Samuelson, spokesperson for KHA, told the Hawver’s Capitol Report that Kansas’ refusal to expand Medicaid means that federal funding has been redistributed from Kansas to expansion states.
That’s not true.
Expanding Medicaid would not take money from other states, and federal funds aren’t being redistributed because Kansas hasn’t expanded Medicaid. Instead, Medicaid expansion in the states is simply bloating federal debt.
Samuelson says Medicaid expansion would add 150,000 Kansans to Medicaid rolls. She doesn’t say that the people added to the rolls would be able-bodied adults. Prior to Obamacare, Medicaid covered low income children, those of all ages with special needs and disabilities, and pregnant women. Medicaid expansion adds able-bodied adults, and states receive a higher payment from the federal government for adding able-bodied individuals to Medicaid. Currently, the feds pay 90 percent of the funding for able-bodied individuals but only 60 percent of funding for low-income children, those with special needs and those with disabilities.
The imbalanced federal match gives states an incentive to add able-bodied individuals to Medicaid rolls. Meanwhile states have waiting lists to add the disabled and special needs populations to Medicaid.
That information is left on the cutting room floor in most mainstream media stories about Medicaid expansion, but as the spokesperson for Kansas Hospital Association, Samuelson should know better.