Kansas Medicaid expansion moves forward

Medicaid Expansion took another step forward in Kansas.

We know from 2017 that the Kansas House and Senate had a working majority to pass Medicaid Expansion. Then Governor Brownback (R) vetoed the bill and the legislature was a few votes short of overriding the veto.

Recently elected Governor Kelly (D) has made Medicaid Expansion one of her priorities. The governor’s mansion and signature will not be a stopping point of an expansion. The bill still needs to go through the Senate where the Senate majority leader is an opponent and is not under any obligation to schedule a vote.

One of the modifications that passed in the Kansas House last night was a premium requirement. This will make currently insured individuals who are low healthcare spenders worse off.

Right now, a single individual earning precisely 100% +$1 of the Federal Poverty Level pays $21 per month for the benchmark Silver plan with a 94% CSR benefit. A family of four earning $25,600 currently pays $44 for the benchmark Silver plan. These families will pay more in monthly premiums by 20% or 120%. There will be a lower out of pocket expense if they are using a lot of services. Low utilizers who are currently buying on-Exchange plans will be worse off.

This is a value judgement on the probability of a counterfactual. Is a Medicaid expansion that makes some people worse off worth it? In my moral universe, it is as right now, as a single forty year old earning under 100% FPL in Wichita is paying $375 a month for the cheapest plan. The premium is at least three-eighths of this person’s annual income. That plan’s deductible is over half of their annual income. Less than optimal Medicaid Expansion makes these folks far better off.

9 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Elections 👏 have 👏 consequences 👏

    You think this would be happening if Kobach had won?
    I think not 😠

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:


    I know that you said that this wasn’t part of your expertise, but do you know anyone who could maybe write a guest column here on the insulin crisis, and why are Americans with a chronic disease being priced out of the medicine that they NEED TO LIVE!!!😠😠

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Basically, some will like this new sausage coming out of the Kansas lege and other’s won’t. Same as it ever was.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I should add that I agree with you, just pointing that where ever there are winners, there are bound to be a few losers. In this case, they aren’t losing much.

  5. 5
    guachi says:

    I have little (none, really) insight into KS legislature but I hope this gets a vote in the Senate.

    There is little bad news in the bill aside from the fee/tax. Will this be used to partially cover the 10% of the expansion KS has to pay for?

  6. 6
    Seanly says:

    Here in Idaho, we used the initiative process to force the legislature and governor to expand Medicare. The bill to carry through the will of the voters is in the current session. Akin to what is happening with restoring voting rights to convicts in FL, the Republicans are trying their best to subvert the initiative. They want to have onerous work requirements and other restrictions – which is rightly pissing off many supporters of the initiative. I think one aspect is that the expansion would be voided if the Federal dollar match goes below the current 90%. And in a fit of pique, the legislature is also moving a bill to make the initiative process much more difficult. The Democrats are doing what they can, but are essentially just a rearguard action in Idaho.

  7. 7
    Ohio Mom says:

    In other health care coverage news, I didn’t read the article (yet) but I saw in a headline in today’s Cincinnati paper that we’re going ahead in Ohio with work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Ugh.

    I did skim the article on the vaccine/abortion link that inspires a Catholic community in Kentucky to forego the chicken pox vaccine and lo and behold, they are in the midst of a chicken pox outbreak.

    Seems the vaccine was developed using lung cells from an aborted fetus and because of this, RTLers are refusing to be inoculated. File under Darwin Awards nominations.

  8. 8
    Sab says:

    @Ohio Mom: Of course they care more about hypothetical fetuses than their own living children. I had chicken pox when I was three.I am sixty-five now. I don’t remember it, but I still have scars all over my body. Couldn’t have been fun.

  9. 9
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Sab: I’m 64 and have a vague memory from my preschool years of suffering one childhood disease (don’t know which one), lying in a darken room and getting to drink as much Hawaii’s Punch (usually a rare treat) as I liked.

    Now I think in terms of how scary that must have been for my mom. And multiply that for all the childhood diseases and the fact that she had three kids.

    The article was interesting. In developing the polio vaccine, which like all vaccine creation requires using cells as vaccine factories, scientists killed tens of thousands (!) of monkeys for their kidneys. But kidneys are a dirty environment and sometimes already contain miscellaneous viruses you wouldn’t want copies of.

    The cleanest cells tne scientists could think of were fetal cells. The story gets detailed here (with a few shades of the Henrietta Lack story) but the upshot is, the “daughter” cells of the fetal lungs first used used in the development of the vaccine are still being used to make chicken pox vaccine.

    And other fetal daughter cells from other terminated pregnancies are used for other vaccines.

    The Vatican issued a statement saying Catholics should urge vaccine makers to find alternative methods (yeah, that’ll work) and in tne meantime to continue taking the vaccines. But apparently, even the Pope can’t convince these fools.

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