By the Editorial Board | April 1, 2020

When the Kansas Legislature comes back to Topeka, they’ll undoubtedly take up the topic of aid to citizens impacted by our current circumstances. Expanding Medicaid is a critical need they must address, and every Republican leader who has stood in the way of passing the bill should stand down.

As the numbers of Kansans laid off from their jobs continue to skyrocket, the failure of the Legislature to expand Medicaid presents an even grimmer reality for maintaining a healthy populace.

For years we’ve advocated for expansion, believing that health care options for food service workers, truck drivers and grocery store clerks are vital to having a healthy workforce and a strong economy.

Among the primary people who would qualify for the insurance are folks working in what we now call essential businesses, but these essential jobs often don’t include health insurance. If Republican leadership hadn’t stymied expansion efforts for several years, Kansas workers would have health insurance to treat COVID-19 should they contract it while they stock grocery shelves, deliver goods to homes and prepare takeout meals.

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