Last week a coalition of Democrats and centrist Republicans steamrolled House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, the Kansas Legislatures chief obstructionist to extending health care coverage to 130,000 low-income Kansans.
For the first 43 days of the current legislative session Hawkins, along with House Speaker Ryckman, Senate President Wagle, and Senate Majority Leader Denning, had blocked debate and hearings on Governor Laura Kellys proposal to extend Medicaid coverage to uninsured Kansans. However, through crafty floor maneuvers, a bipartisan majority adopted the governors proposal and moved consideration of the issue over to the Kansas Senate.
The time has arrived for Republicans to stop obstructing majority will and negotiate a path forward on extending health care to uninsured Kansans. Their partisan blocking tactics have become a losing proposition, in terms of both public policy and politics.