Medicaid Expansion Supporters Set Sights On Kansas Governor Candidates

Nov 16, 2017

Credit Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service/File photo

KanCare expansion advocates are already setting their sights on potential future state lawmakers in their push to get expansion legislation passed next year.

Dave Sanford, CEO of GraceMed in Wichita, spoke at a townhall meeting this week hosted by the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a leading pro-expansion group.

Sanford says his organization is already advocating ahead of the next legislative session.

"We're certainly hoping that maybe with Governor Brownback leaving the state, and a new governor coming into the position, maybe we can strongly state our case once more, and have the House and the Senate stay solid in terms of voting for Medicaid expansion," he said. "The other thing that many of us are doing is beginning to have dialogue with all those folks that are running for governor, to see what their positions are."

The Kansas House was 3 votes shy of overriding Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a Medicaid expansion bill in the last session.

Brownback is set to leave soon for a position with the Trump administration. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who helped with the creation of the state’s privatized Medicaid system, is in line to take over.

Some of the dozen or so candidates for governor, including Republican Mark Hutton, have expressed a willingness to consider expanding KanCare.

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