ICYMI: Kansas Governor’s Renewed Call for Medicaid Expansion Emphasizes Mental Health Benefit

KEY QUOTE: “I refuse to give up on this issue,” Kelly said. “I’m going to propose Medicaid expansion for the sixth time when the Legislature reconvenes in January, and I hope legislative leadership will do the right thing.” 

Kansas Governor’s Renewed Call for Medicaid Expansion Emphasizes Mental Health Benefit 
Rachel Mipro, Kansas Reflector
June 29, 2023 

  • The Democratic governor has pushed Medicaid expansion for years, but Republican leaders in the Legislature have blocked legislation from moving forward. By expanding eligibility for health insurance coverage, the governor said, thousands of Kansans could receive mental health treatment.
  • Kelly appeared with Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids to emphasize the need to prioritize mental health during a groundbreaking ceremony for a 72-bed Olathe mental health hospital.
  • In Kansas, Medicaid is provided through KanCare and limited to low-income people who have disabilities or children. Medicaid expansion would increase eligibility to adults under the age of 65 with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. If the state broadened enrollment of uninsured adults in KanCare, thousands of lower-income families would be provided with health care options.
  • Kelly estimated that Medicaid expansion would give 150,000 Kansans access to affordable health care and that nearly one-third of those Kansans currently struggle with mental health issues or substance abuse disorders. Expanding Medicaid would unlock an estimated billion dollars in annual federal aid. Kansas is one of 10 remaining states that hasn’t adopted expansion.