ICYMI: Governor Kelly Sits Down with
New York Times to Discuss Stakes of
Expanding Medicaid 

At the State Capitol last month, House and Senate lawmakers held two hearings about Medicaid expansion — the first on the topic in four years, giving supporters of the legislation a sense of progress. Both hearing rooms were so crowded that visitors were forced to listen from the hallways or file into overflow rooms… ‘There’s momentum,’ [Governor] Kelly said.” 

For Red State Holdouts Like Kansas, Is Expanding Medicaid Within Reach?
Noah Weiland, New York Times
April 3, 2024  

  • As lawmakers in a nearby hearing room debated last month whether to support her legislation to expand Medicaid, Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas dared the state’s Republican House speaker to hold a vote.   
  • Kansas is one of just 10 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which allowed adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $43,000 a year for a family of four, to qualify for the program. All of Kansas’s neighbors have adopted the expansion…  
  • The Kansas Health Institute, a nonpartisan research group, has estimated that about 70 percent of those who would become eligible for Medicaid under expansion are working. 
  • One of those who would potentially qualify is Stephen Zook, an uninsured restaurant server in rural Buhler, Kan., who makes around $15,000 each year and falls into the coverage gap in Kansas… “It’s definitely not people who are lazy,” he said. “It’s people trying to make their lives better for themselves. I’m trying to pull my bootstraps up as many times as I can. And it’s still not enough to get the coverage that I need.” 
  • Melissa Dodge, a single mother of four in Derby, Kan., who works part time as a restaurant hostess and is also stuck in the coverage gap, said she was struggling to get by as she tended to the complex medical needs of her daughter and everyday tasks like school drop-offs… “It’s a massive source of anxiety,” she said of not having health insurance. “There’s a fear to it that I refuse to allow to run my life. But it’s there. And I can’t not acknowledge it.”