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Medicaid expansion proposal needs bipartisan support to pass, Kelly sees it as ‘overdue’

One of the main legislative priorities for Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is Medicaid expansion.

“I think we are six years overdue on expanding Medicaid,” said Governor Kelly Friday. “The silver lining in that is that we now have the experience of other states in how they expanded Medicaid and we can learn from that and we can put together a Medicaid expansion plan.”

It is Kelly’s intent to have a bipartisan group look at the issue. She’ll announce the members soon.

Louisiana expanded Medicaid a couple of years ago,” said Kelly. “They actually saw a $317 million savings, not to mention creating 19,000 new jobs in just one year. We’re actually working with folks from Louisiana to figure out exactly what they did. We will try to replicate something like that here.”

Dean of the Statehouse press corps, Martin Hawver, made an interesting point about Medicaid expansion when he spoke to the Wichita Pachyderm Club earlier this month.

“Democrats, so far, have not been able to make a pretty good point about expanding health care to, it would be, like 150,000 more Kansans than have access to health care now,” Hawver said. “People would be in better health, which means, your kids and your grandkids don’t have to go to school with people, other little kids who are sick. That’s kind of worth something. Don’t know how much.”

That may be the ultimate political question that dooms or lifts the proposal in the long run.

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