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Govs Get It Done: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Announces Deal To Expand Medicaid, Would Cover 130,000 Kansans And Not Raise Taxes

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Today, Gov. Laura Kelly announced a deal to expand Medicaid to an estimated 130,000 Kansans. If passed, Medicaid expansion would fulfill a key campaign promise for Gov. Kelly.
After GOP leadership blocked a bill to expand Medicaid in the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Kelly signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion. At the time, Gov. Kelly said she would do everything in her power to make sure that 2020 is the year lawmakers finally expand Medicaid in Kansas.
Now, Gov. Kelly is making good on that promise. The plan she announced today with Senate Majority Leader Denning would provide health care to 130,000 Kansans and would be paid for without raising taxes.
Read more about the groundbreaking deal below:
The Wichita Eagle: Kelly, Denning reach deal to expand Medicaid in Kansas. But lawmakers must still vote
Kansas’s Democratic governor and a top Senate Republican have reached a compromise on Medicaid expansion to provide health coverage to more than 100,000 people, a rare bipartisan agreement just days before lawmakers get back to work.
Gov. Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning announced the deal at a news conference in the Capitol rotunda as roughly 200 expansion supporters cheered.
If passed, the measure will bring Medicaid expansion to Kansas nearly a decade after Congress approved the Affordable Care Act, the law that encouraged states to grow the health coverage program. Kansas is just one of 14 states that have not expanded.
“This process is far from over, as there are still several critical steps to be taken by the Kansas Legislature,” Kelly said. “But today, Senator Denning and I are proud to stand together to propose a bipartisan compromise that will expand Medicaid and lower healthcare costs for Kansas families.”
The plan expands Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($25,750 for a family of four) and uses a surcharge on Kansas hospitals to help pay for the increased costs. It includes a program to refer Medicaid recipients for work, but doesn’t require work – an element some Republicans had sought.
McPherson Sentinel: Gov. Laura Kelly, Sen. Jim Denning announce Medicaid expansion deal
Gov. Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning outlined Thursday a bipartisan compromise for Medicaid expansion, ending a yearlong stalemate as lawmakers prepare to return next week for the start of the 2020 legislative session.
Their plan would bring together elements of legislation passed by the House last year, as well as the proposal revealed by Denning in October. It would extend health care coverage to Kansas families up to 138% of the federal poverty level and take effect no later than Jan. 1, 2021.
A majority of lawmakers support some form of Medicaid expansion, which would extend coverage to an estimated 130,000 Kansas adults and children and unlock a billion dollars in annual federal funding.
Kelly, a Democrat, made Medicaid expansion a top priority of her administration when she took office last year. A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans secured passage of the House bill, which was modeled on a plan that passed in 2017 but was vetoed by former Gov. Sam Brownback. When the legislation reached the Senate, Denning, R-Overland Park, refused to bring it to a vote.