Overview Financial Shred Day Marquee April 2024

Russell City Council Adopts Resolution Supporting Medicaid Expansion in Kansas

Dustin Madden, Blaine Stoppel, Mayor Jim Cross, Lonnie Whitten and Luke Brandenburg sworn in.
Dustin Madden, Blaine Stoppel, Mayor Jim Cross, Lonnie Whitten and Luke Brandenburg sworn in.

The Russell City Council met Tuesday and adopted a resolution supporting the expansion of Medicaid, known as KanCare, in Kansas.

According to City staff, Kansas is one of 10 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare is a significant part of the local economy said City staff. In October 2023, the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas released a study, The Importance of the Health Care Sector to the Russell County Economy. The study indicated that within Russell County, the healthcare sector employs more than 279 people directly and pays out $14.8 million in labor income based on 2021 data.

In addition to providing direct employment and income, the healthcare sector creates multiplier effects as businesses and employees purchase local goods and services. With the multiplier effects, the Russell County healthcare sector supports 358 jobs and about $17 million in labor income.

In addition to jobs and income, the healthcare sector provides economic development effects that are less easily quantified. A quality healthcare sector improves the population's well-being, which, in turn, improves business productivity. Quality healthcare aids in recruiting and retaining businesses, workforce and retirees.

It is estimated the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas would benefit the local healthcare sector in the following ways: $1,436,868 in annual healthcare spending throughout the county, $2,704,880 in new hospital revenue over the next decade, 56 new jobs created in the county and 167 Kansans would become eligible for health insurance, making it more likely they would get the mental and physical healthcare they need to join the workforce, care for their families and be productive citizens.

According to City staff, Russell Regional Hospital, healthcare providers, pharmacies, durable medical equipment providers and other ancillary services are critical to the community.

Also Tuesday, members of the Council elected in November took their oaths of office. They included Mayor Jim Cross and Councilmembers Luke Brandenburg, Lonnie Whitten, Blaine Stoppel and Dustin Madden. Brandenburg is the only new face on the Council as all the others were incumbents in November. Madden was also appointed Council President.

Also Tuesday, the Council authorized City staff to partner with KRSL/KZRS Russell Radio to implement a Community Impact Award Program, contingent upon sponsorship to cover the program cost.