Kansas To Expand Medicaid To 150,000 Under Bipartisan Deal

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The state would be the 39th jurisdiction to expand Medicaid to low-income adults using funding under the Affordable Care Act.
As many as 150,000 low-income Kansans stand to gain health coverage under a compromise plan to expand Medicaid that Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced on Thursday.

If the state legislature passes the measure, Kansas would join 37 other states and the District of Columbia in broadening eligibility for the health care program to anyone earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level, which amounts to about $16,000 a year for a single person and $33,000 for a family of four.

Kansas had been one of 14 holdout states, as Kelly's Republican predecessors Jeff Colyer and Sam Brownback opposed Medicaid expansion. But since defeating then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the 2018 gubernatorial election, Kelly has been negotiating with the state's majority-Republican legislature over the policy. On Thursday, she jointly announced a deal with state Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning (R) to move ahead.

"This process is far from over, as there are still several critical steps to be taken by the Kansas Legislature," Kelly said in a press release. "But today, Sen. Denning and I are proud to stand together to propose a bipartisan compromise that will expand Medicaid and lower health care costs for Kansas families."

The 2010 Affordable Care Act called for a nationwide Medicaid…
Jeffrey Young
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