Our state Legislature passed on yet another opportunity to pass expansion of Medicaid. In an unprecedented health crisis, the last thing Kansans should be worried about is losing their health insurance.


But as jobless rates soar to historical levels, an estimated 27 million people have lost their health insurance and are facing greater health care costs as a consequence. Two-thirds of U.S. adults say if they had COVID-19 symptoms, out-of-pocket costs would be a deciding factor in whether they would seek medical help.


We need to expand affordable health care, not eliminate it, or even limit it, so that workers have access to medical testing and treatment. That includes expanding Medicaid (KANCARE) to 130,000 more low-income Kansans and subsidies for COBRA extensions, which allow those who lose or leave their jobs to remain on their employer’s health plan.


Right now, there is no end in sight for this crisis. Surely, the least we can do is ensure people can seek treatment during a pandemic.


Andy Sanchez (executive secretary/treasurer of Kansas AFL-CIO), Topeka