KPR: By Appealing to Both Sides, a Kansas Medicaid Expansion Plan Risks Opposition From All Directions

Oct. 24, 2019

A top Republican in the Kansas Senate said he’s designed a Medicaid expansion plan that aims to walk a fine line — one that can win over conservatives without losing support from moderate Republicans and Democrats.

But the proposal also risks satisfying neither faction.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning outlined a proposal this week that would grow the Medicaid health care plan to cover an added 150,000 or so low-income Kansans.

His strategy includes a mix of policies inspired by ideas from Republicans and Democrats. But the plan also adds in the private insurance market, with the goal of stabilizing the federal health care exchange in Kansas where people without Medicaid buy private coverage.

The would-be bill passed an initial hurdle Wednesday. A special Senate committee recommended the plan get further study during the coming legislative session that kicks off in January.

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