In a rare break from the ritualistic pounding Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has grown used to, the Washington Examiner has chosen to tell the world, “Here’s what’s right with Kansas.”
The Examiner op-ed author is one Tarren Bragdon, the founder of a free market think tank called the Foundation for Government Accountability. For Bragdon, Brownback’s most singular accomplishment been the implementation of welfare reforms that are “a model for nationwide success.” To those dependent on Kansas media a statement like this might seem like fake news, but the suppression of the good and the elevation of the bad is the most routine form of news distortion.
Specifically, Brownback’s policies on Medicaid expansion and food stamp reform, according to Bragdon, “have helped thousands of Kansans climb out of dependency while preserving taxpayer dollars for the truly needy and for other key investments in education and infrastructure.” Bragdon praised as well Brownback’s veto of Medicaid expansion, a sign, he believes, of Brownback’s commitment to stay the course.
Despite the claims of local media that the refusal by Brownback to expand Medicaid has led to hospital shutdowns, Bragdon observes that employment at Kansas hospitals has grown by more than 4,000 during Brownback’s tenure.
On the food stamp front, in 2013 Brownback restored the work requirement for able bodied adults. His administration also established a tracking program to monitor the performance of those in transition. The results are impressive. Roughly 20,000 people were able to move off food stamps, and their income has increased on an average of 127 percent, saving Kansas $50 million a year in the process.
Concludes Bragdon in his Examiner op-ed, “Governor Brownback’s experience in Kansas shows that getting people to work, not expanding welfare, is the way to create jobs and increase incomes. Beyond the Sunflower State, Kansas’s welfare and healthcare policies show that states have innovative ideas about how to promote self-sufficiency and prosperity – and that leaders like Sam Brownback should be empowered to keep innovating, whether at the state or federal level.”