Advocates for and against Medicaid expansion have been calling lawmakers and sending emails over the weekend. That’s because Governor Sam Brownback vetoed a bill that would expand KanCare, the state’s version of the health care program. There’s likely to be an effort to override that veto this week, which will start in the Kansas House.
Democratic Representative Jim Ward says they’re close to the 84 needed votes and they’ve been targeting lawmakers with lobbying efforts.
“Those 10 or 15 that we think would be open to new information and make a vote that helps us override. We’re looking for two to three votes,” says Ward.
The issue has been discussed for years in the Kansas Legislature. Republican Representative Dan Hawkins, who opposes Medicaid expansion, says he believes people are entrenched in their positions and won’t be moving.
Supporters say expansion could boost hospitals and provide health coverage for thousands of Kansas. Opponents worry about ballooning costs from expanding Medicaid.
Stephen Koranda reports: