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Kansas Policy Agenda

To achieve the foundation's mission, we believe it is essential to invest in advocacy and public policy activities and to engage more directly as an organization on specific state and federal policy issues that present the opportunity to improve access to health coverage and strengthen the health care safety net.

Expand Medicaid to Increase Access to Coverage and Care

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The REACH Foundation supports expansion of KanCare, the state Medicaid program, to close the health coverage gap that affects thousands of low-income, working adults and families in Kansas.

  • Nearly 150,000 Kansans are left out of coverage because state leaders have declined to expand Medicaid coverage.
  • Kansas is one of only 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid, forfeiting more than $3 billion in federal matching funds — tax dollars paid by Kansans.
  • Despite efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, expansion states have continued to draw down the federal matching dollars to address the specific health needs in their states.
  • More than 40 studies published over the last decade have documented the health and economic benefits of expanding health insurance to uninsured people.

Enact Fiscal Policies that Help Kansans Thrive

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The REACH Foundation supports state budget and tax policies that will protect core services and continue to stabilize the state’s financial outlook.

  • Tax policy decisions of previous state lawmakers resulted in crippling revenue losses and cuts to public services, including mental health, public health and prevention, child and family services, and public safety. Legislative actions to reverse these policies have helped Kansas regain its financial footing, but there is still work to be done.
  • Kansans are looking to policy leaders to put forth common sense solutions for rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, improving accountability for programs and services, and repairing services for vulnerable children and adults.
  • The Governor and Kansas legislators are well positioned to continue the state’s financial recovery and restore essential services that allow families and communities to thrive.

Prepare for 2020 Census to Preserve Vital Resources

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The REACH Foundation encourages Kansas leaders to invest in statewide planning for the 2020 Census to ensure Kansas is accurately counted for federal programs and representation in Washington, D.C.

  • The census determines how nearly $700 billion in federal funding is allocated to states as well as apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Business and government rely on census data in planning and investment decisions.
  • Kansas receives approximately $4.5 billion in federal funds based on census data to support programs such as roads and transportation, housing, food and nutrition assistance, K-12 education and Head Start. Under-counting children, minorities, rural residents, senior citizens and other marginalized groups could negatively affect these programs.
  • Kansas needs to follow the lead of other states working to ensure a full and accurate count by investing in a Complete Count Commission and other efforts to engage municipalities, conduct outreach and lead efforts to supplement federal plans.

Missouri Policy Agenda

REACH supports the work of our Missouri advocacy partners and develops an annual policy agenda to guide the foundation's engagement on state and federal policy issues that present the opportunity to improve access to health coverage and strengthen the health care safety net.

Enact Fiscal Policies That Help Missourians Thrive

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The REACH Foundation urges lawmakers to revise state tax policies to ensure adequate revenues are invested in core services and programs that help Missouri workers and families thrive.

  • Missouri’s tax policies are not set up to help the state maintain a dependable revenue flow that will enable leaders to meet basic public needs.
  • Missourians already have seen significant erosion in programs and financial support for roads and transportation, K-12 education, higher education, and health and mental health services.
  • Lawmakers have the opportunity to revisit current tax policies, such as changes to individual income tax rates, and business tax deductions and timely filing discounts that disadvantage low- and middle-income families.
  • Kansas enacted similar tax policies that led to deep cuts to education, health and transportation and depleted the state’s reserves. Although these failed policies were reversed, restoring quality services will take years.

Expand Medicaid to Increase Access to Coverage and Care

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The REACH Foundation supports the expansion of Medicaid to close the health coverage gap that affects thousands of low-income, working adults and families in Missouri.

  • Nearly 300,000 Missourians are left out of health coverage because state leaders have declined to expand Medicaid, forfeiting billions in federal resources that could support health, mental health and oral health care throughout the state.
  • Adults without children cannot qualify for Medicaid in Missouri. For adults with children, eligibility stops at 22% of the federal poverty level — the third lowest rate in the nation.
  • Federal Medicaid resources have contributed substantially to the funding of mental health services in Missouri. As lawmakers grapple with the state’s mental health care needs and rising rates of substance abuse, Medicaid expansion presents an opportunity to leverage additional resources to support treatment and other programs.

Prepare for 2020 Census to Preserve Vital Resources for Missouri

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The REACH Foundation encourages government leaders to invest in statewide planning for the 2020 Census to ensure the state is accurately counted for federal programs and representation in Washington, D.C.

  • The census determines how nearly $700 billion in federal funding is allocated to states as well as apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Business and government rely on census data in planning and investment decisions.
  • Missouri receives approximately $11.3 billion in federal funds based on census data to support programs such as transportation, housing, food and nutrition assistance, K-12 education and Head Start. Under-counting of populations such as children, minorities, rural residents, senior citizens and other marginalized groups could negatively affect these programs.
  • Missouri needs to follow the lead of other states that are working to ensure a full and accurate count by investing in formation of a Complete Count Commission and other efforts to engage municipalities, conduct outreach and lead efforts to supplement federal plans.
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