Home Marijuana Kansas Governor Proposes Legalizing Medical Marijuana To Fund Medicaid Enlargement | Excessive...

Kansas Governor Proposes Legalizing Medical Marijuana To Fund Medicaid Enlargement | Excessive Occasions


Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas introduced a proposal on Monday that may legalize medical marijuana to boost the income required to develop the state’s Medicaid program. Below the proposal, almost 200,000 state residents who don’t at present have medical health insurance would achieve eligibility for protection. 

“After almost a 12 months of challenges introduced on by COVID-19, we have to use each instrument at our disposal to guard the well being of our workforce and our economic system,” Kelly said in a press release from the governor’s workplace. “Getting 165,000 Kansans well being care, injecting billions of {dollars} and hundreds of jobs into our native economies, and defending our rural hospitals can be vital to our restoration from the pandemic. By combining broadly common, commonsense medical marijuana coverage with our efforts to develop Medicaid, the income from the invoice pays for enlargement.”

Obamacare Consists of Medicaid Enlargement

Below the Inexpensive Care Act handed in 2010, Congress approved an enlargement of the Medicaid program to supply medical health insurance for extra low-income households, with the federal authorities masking 90% of the associated fee and the states answerable for 10%. Kansas is considered one of 12 states who haven’t applied the enlargement, with leaders of the GOP-led legislature citing the prices of this system.

“You will have heard lots of the feedback coming from the opposition have been [that] we will’t afford it,” Kelly said in a press convention on Monday. “We have now simply designed a invoice that pays for itself and extra.”

“There’s by no means been any good argument in opposition to enlargement apart from we will’t afford it,” she added.

Below Kelly’s proposal, a invoice to legalize and regulate the manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana could be handed by the legislature. Kelly has mentioned the medical marijuana program could be modeled after Ohio’s, with sufferers with particular qualifying circumstances permitted to make use of hashish medicinally with a doctor’s advice. The measure would additionally implement taxes that may fund the Medicaid enlargement. Each elements of the plan, nevertheless, are already going through opposition from Republican lawmakers.

“I’m hoping they are going to put aside the political occasion variations and acknowledge that each elements of this invoice, Medicaid enlargement and medical legalization, are terribly common amongst their constituents,” Kelly said through the information convention.

Republican Lawmakers Oppose Kelly’s Plan

Republican Home Majority Chief Dan Hawkins was fast to criticize the plan in a press release launched on Monday.

“Governor Kelly envisions a Kansas the place you may select to not work and the taxpayers will foot the invoice so that you can keep dwelling and smoke supposedly medical marijuana,” Hawkins mentioned. “Whereas the Governor is targeted on excessive hopes and pipe desires, Republicans proceed working to create jobs and rebuild the as soon as robust economic system.”

However well being care leaders are in favor of increasing Medicaid. Chad Austin, president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Affiliation, mentioned in a College of Kansas Well being System briefing that he believes the newly put in Biden administration will supply incentives to “these 12 remaining states that haven’t moved ahead with Medicaid enlargement.”

Austin mentioned that Kansas is “on an island” surrounded by states which have taken benefit of the enlargement, including that public opinion is in favor of the coverage change.

“There’s been ballot after ballot that’s been accomplished during the last a number of years that constantly reveals that there’s public assist for Medicaid enlargement,” he mentioned. “So hopefully our policymakers right here in Topeka will make the most of that and discover a resolution that’s proper for Kansans.”