By Tim Carpenter and Sherman Smith | Jan. 9, 2020

Gov. Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning outlined Thursday a bipartisan compromise for Medicaid expansion that was the product of 60 days of behind-the-scenes negotiation, ending a prolonged stalemate as lawmakers prepare to return next week for the start of the 2020 legislative session.

Their plan would bring together elements of legislation passed by the House last year, as well as the proposal revealed by Denning in October. It would extend health care coverage to Kansas families up to 138% of the federal poverty level and take effect no later than Jan. 1, 2021.

The expansion cost to Kansas would be offset by a $35 million surcharge endorsed by the Kansas Hospital Association and the blueprint for broadening eligibility for Medicaid has the backing of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, the state’s largest Medicaid expansion coalition. The proposal to be introduced in the Kansas Senate will have 22 co-sponsors, with 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats on board.

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