Apr 22, 2021 9:28 PM

Kelly touts Medicaid expansion after touring Great Bend hospital

Posted Apr 22, 2021 9:28 PM
Gov. Kelly held a press conference after touring the hospital in Great Bend.
Gov. Kelly held a press conference after touring the hospital in Great Bend.

By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post

GREAT BEND — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly was in Great Bend on Thursday to tour the University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus. The Governor is touring Kansas medical facilities this week while the state legislature is taking its April recess. Kelly told reporters after the tour what she saw.

"I've been very impressed with the facility here in Great Bend," Kelly said. "Honestly, I had not idea that this existed. The level of service, the comprehensiveness of the services and the clear dedication of the staff who are here shouts out at you as you're walking through the corridors."

The governor used some of her time in Great Bend to make her case for Medicaid expansion. She said her Medicaid proposals would provide more access to quality healthcare for people who do not have health insurance coverage. Kelly also said the expansion of Medicaid is important to rural hospitals like the one here in the Great Bend.

"Medicaid expansion will help this facility and every facility like it just because a lot of these facilities provide millions of dollars worth of uncompensated care," Kelly said. "Hospitals cannot turn somebody away if they show up at the emergency room. They've got to provide the service and care for them."

Kelly said it is important right now for the state legislature to take action on Medicaid. She said the federal government is offering to pay Kansas 350 to 450 million dollars in Rescue Plan money over the next two years if Medicaid is expanded.

The governor noted that she has offered to pair Medicaid expansion with the legalization of medical marijuana. She says the proceeds from medical marijuana could be used to offset the costs for additional Medicaid expenses.