Bloomberg Law: Kansas Republican Navigates Political Minefield to Grow Medicaid

By Christopher Brown | Nov. 8, 2019

A newly released Kansas plan to give more people Medicaid is an example of the tricky balancing act needed in states that have resisted expanding the low-income health program so far.

The good news, supporters of growing Medicaid say, is that a powerful Kansas state senator who has obstructed previous expansion proposals has put together what appears to be a sincere proposal to expand health coverage in the state.

But the plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning (R) is also so complex and festooned with add-ons that it risks being shot down by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services even if it manages to make it through the state Legislature and become law.

Supporters of growing Medicaid rolls are encouraged, but not ready for their victory lap, according to April Holman, executive director of Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a group that has been pushing Medicaid expansion for at least seven years.

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