We need to let ultra-conservative Kansas legislators such as Brenda Landwehr, chair of the House Health & Human Services Committee (if you can believe that), know that government health care dollars are good for our economy and good for the sinking middle class. Ms Landwehr has been on the Koch billionaire (“Kochtopus”) bus traveling across Kansas with other members of the evangelical, right-wing (of the anti-choice-anti-life variety) legislative delegation in an attempt to keep federal health care dollars out of Kansas (see my e-mail of 11/21, entitled “Mean-Ass Kansas Republican Health Care Proposal”).
Please direct Ms Landwehr’s and her Republican cohorts’ attention to a report issued by the Kansas Hospital Association entitled “The Importance of the Health Care Sector to the Kansas Economy.” The report can be accessed at http://www.kha-net.org/Communications/MediaReleases/32164.aspx.
Perhaps readers of this blog would think that a report that discusses social accounting matrix analysis (SAM) is a real eye glazer and only for policy wonks of the highest order. But it isn’t – really, honestly. Take my word for it. It is quite fascinating. The first paragraph should make it clear that the Republican campaign to keep health care dollars out of Kansas is a “job killer.” It states the following:
“Though the connection between health care services and local economic development are often overlooked, there are at least three important relationships to be recognized. A strong health care system can attract and maintain business and industry growth, attract and retain retirees, and also create jobs in the local area.” (page 1)
The report can be boiled down to this: the health care industry is approaching 20% of GDP across this nation and in Kansas. It accounts for a very large payroll in Kansas and every other state. How large? The health care industry in Kansas provides 177,585 direct Kansas health care jobs and, due to a multiplier effect, accounts for a total of 290,728 jobs. Employees of hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other health related institutions purchase goods and services from other businesses. This is the multiplier effect.
In a state with a work force of slightly less than 1.8 million, a 290,728 (16.4%) job producing segment of the economy is a big deal. When these Republicans start messing with it, they should be called to account.
It is my intention to gin up a campaign to not only save but to increase jobs in Kansas by supporting health care legislation that would increase federal tax dollars directed toward coverage of the uninsured and underinsured citizens of this state. We can most certainly count on Marci Francisco – who receives my post notices – but we need to support her and insure that all Democrat and reasonable Republican representatives (i.e. Tom Sloan) are aware of our concern about this.