Kancare is Kansas' privatized Medicaid. Here is a suggestion for saving the state money on Medicaid expenses, reducing teen pregnancies, reducing abortions, and reducing the impact of the abortion issue on Kansas' elections. Rather than fighting about the abortion issue, we should focus on reducing the rate of abortion.
Gov. Sam Brownback said he would not expand Medicaid because of the possible cost to the state. One way to decrease KanCare’s cost, with a net benefit to the state, would be to offer free, long-acting reversible birth control to women of childbearing age.
That sounds counterintuitive, but Colorado experimented with it and found that, for every dollar they invested in preventing unwanted pregnancies, an estimated $5.85 was saved in the birth-related Medicaid costs of pregnancy, delivery and early childhood care. It also had the added benefit of reducing their teenage birth rate by 40 percent and their abortion rate by 40 percent.
Though it wasn’t measured in Colorado’s experiment, reducing unwanted pregnancies should reduce the social costs of poverty, damaged lives, crime, and poor education.