Kansas governor’s warnings open Medicaid expansion review

Kansas

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly makes the opening remarks at the first meeting of a council she appointed to review policy options for expanding Medicaid in Kansas, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. Kelly said she wants the council to develop “guiding principles” for the Republican-controlled Legislature. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has opened a review of options for expanding Medicaid in Kansas with warnings against work requirements and a limited expansion.

Kelly gave opening remarks Monday at the first meeting of a council she appointed to provide the Republican-controlled Legislature with policy guidance ahead of next year’s expected debate on the issue.

Kelly said she wants the council to develop “guiding principles” for lawmakers. She described work requirements and a limited Medicaid expansion as ideas that haven’t worked well in other states.

The governor took office in January pushing to expand the state’s Medicaid health coverage for as many as 150,000 additional residents. An expansion plan passed the House, but conservative GOP leaders blocked it in the Senate, expressing concerns about its potential costs to the state.

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