March Madness comes to the Statehouse



March 26, 2019 - 10:16 AM

This past Wednesday started off pretty much like any other mid-March weekday, as I perused Twitter and Facebook, did some editing, and planned where I’d watch the Jayhawks play their first-round game in the NCAA tournament.

But then on my Twitter feed came a flurry of tweets: a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats was attempting to move Medicaid expansion onto the House floor, to pass Governor Kelly’s proposal. Whoa! For a legislative geek like me this was the equivalent of a potential miracle upset in first-round NCAA game. You can’t quite believe that the underdogs will pull it off, and you’ve got to keep watching.

So it went on Wednesday afternoon. Like many upsets, the real drama came early, as the insurgent forces leapt into an insurmountable lead in the early stages of the contest. As I watched on a YouTube channel, the House upstarts, led by Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore (D-Kansas City), stole the legislative ball from the Republican leadership with a “gut-and-go” maneuver, which substituted Medicaid expansion into another, slightly related bill.

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