Steve's Blog

September 20, 2011 - The First Step Towards Improving the Health of Missourians

September 20, 2011 will hopefully go down as an important day in the history of Missouri. This marks the day that a group of folks--including this foundation—filed ballot initiative language with the Missouri Secretary of State to increase the cigarette tax in Missouri by 80 cents per pack. Hopefully November 6, 2012 will also go down as an historic day…because that is the day Missouri voters will pass this most needed cigarette tax increase.

Celebrating Life's Milestones

No matter how busy we are at work…our family always takes over as the top priority at certain milestone times in our life.

In July 2010 our oldest daughter was married. And just last weekend our youngest daughter married another wonderful man. This November, my oldest daughter and her husband will have a baby - the first grandchild on both sides of the family. These milestone events are causes for celebration and much happiness.

Meeting the Health Needs of the Undocumented in Kansas City

It is estimated that there are over 100,000 undocumented immigrants living and working in Missouri and Kansas. These folks came here illegally to work in jobs that most Americans are unwilling to pursue. The federal and state governments have laws that say no undocumented immigrant can apply for Food Stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. In Missouri, undocumented immigrants cannot apply for a driver’s license. They also cannot receive federal financial student assistance or attend a Missouri public university or college even with their own resources.

Are you interested in health policy issues?

You may have never heard of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) but if you are serious about health policy issues, this is a group that you must know about. And lucky for those of us who live in Kansas City, NASHP in holding their annual national conference in Kansas City from October 3rd - 5th at the Westin Crown Center Hotel.

Hope for the Future

For the last several years my daughter has supported and raised a beautiful young lady she first met at Operation Breakthrough. Like most of the young children at Operation Breakthrough, this child came from a poor family and had experienced many things in life – through no fault of her own-- that could have broken her spirits but she remained strong.

Where is the Logic In Kansas

Kansas Insurance Department Director Sandy Praeger is well known and respected throughout the region and nation as a knowledge expert in her field. For the last few months she has traveled throughout the country helping states implement Health Insurance Exchanges that are mandated by the new health reform law. Kansas was recently awarded a $31.5 million dollar federal grant to implement a Health insurance Exchange, no doubt because of the leadership and respect federal officials have in Ms. Praeger.

Lessons Learned About Kansas City

I have the honor of serving on the United Way of Kansas City Board of Directors which is skillfully lead by President /CEO Brent Stewart. At a recent meeting, United Way staff presented some statics about the Kansas City area that are alarming to me.



  • One-half of the poor in the Kansa City area are under age 25
  • One out of five infants and toddlers are poor
  • One out of five young adults is poor
  • Three out of five poor households are headed by women

About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.



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