How political manuevering derailed Medicaid expansion

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September 18, 2019 - 10:32 AM

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly campaigned to expand Medicaid, but it failed to pass in the most recent legislative session. She and other supporters hope to try again in 2020. (Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

TOPEKA —This was supposed to be the year Medicaid expansion finally happened in Kansas.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, elected in November, had run on the issue. She triumphed in a state that had gone for Trump in 2016 by more than 20 percentage points and replaced a Republican governor who had vetoed a previous expansion bill.

Approximately 130,000 low-income people — roughly 4.5% of the 2.9 million people in the state — would be newly eligible for health insurance under the expansion, which is possible because of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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