Iola Register: No time to lose on expanding Medicaid

By Susan Lynn | Jan. 13, 2020

We appreciate Gov. Laura Kelly’s cautious optimism that Kansas is on track to become the 37th state to approve Medicaid expansion.

“We’re not here to declare victory,” she said in a press conference Thursday. “We need to think of this as more of a halftime pep talk.”

Standing beside the governor was Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, Overland Park Republican, who has spearheaded the recent bipartisan negotiations.

The compromise ensures those earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level — or about $35,500 for a family of four — will qualify for health insurance, covering an additional 150,000 Kansans. Currently, more than 350,000 disabled, elderly, and low-income Kansans depend on Medicaid, known as KanCare. If approved, the federal government would pay 90% of the additional cost, and Kansas the remainder, an estimated $35 million.

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