GOP Kansas state legislator: Medicaid expansion now 'foregone conclusion'

GOP Kansas state legislator: Medicaid expansion now 'foregone conclusion'
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A Republican state legislator in Kansas says that Medicaid expansion is now a “foregone conclusion” in the state following the election of Democratic governor-elect Laura Kelly on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a foregone conclusion that now that will probably go through,” GOP state Rep. Dan Hawkins, an opponent of Medicaid expansion and chairman of the House’s health committee, told The Wichita Eagle.

The momentum for Medicaid expansion in Kansas comes after Kelly's election Tuesday to the state's highest office. Her victory over Republican Kris Kobach marked a major win for Democrats.

Medicaid expansion already passed the GOP-run state legislature in 2017 but then-Gov. Sam Brownback (R) vetoed it.

As governor, Kelly would sign the bill to expand Medicaid to roughly 150,000 people in Kansas.

Wisconsin is another target for Democrats in expanding Medicaid, where Democrat Tony Evers defeated Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker in another victory for Democrats on Tuesday.

Medicaid expansion is coming to three more red states after ballot initiatives prevailed on Tuesday in Nebraska, Utah, and Idaho. That leaves 14 states that have decided not to expand the program.

The Medicaid expansion, part of ObamaCare, allows states to expand eligibility for the program for people up to 138 percent of the poverty line, which is about $35,000 for a family of four.

Some Republicans have objected, claiming that the program is too costly and provides coverage for “able-bodied” people.