RELEASE: Kansas Republicans Block Medicaid Expansion, Denying Common-Sense Solutions, Health Coverage for 152K Uninsured Kansans

Press Releases

WASHINGTON — Today, Republicans in the Kansas legislature again stood in the way of common-sense Medicaid expansion. As Democrats pushed a procedural vote to consider legislation to expand Medicaid, Republicans blocked the motion – refusing to even debate legislation that would expand health coverage for hundreds of thousands of Kansans. And, once again, leaving millions of federal dollars owed to Kansans on the table.

Expanding Medicaid would improve healthcare coverage, reduce racial health disparities, and save lives – largely funded by $700 million in annual federal funding – yet Republicans in Kansas have spent 10 years obstructing this common-sense legislation. This is especially egregious amid a growing rural hospital crisis in the state. 

Ten Kansas rural hospitals have closed since 2005 and 59 rural hospitals are at risk of closing– devastating workers and families in the area who rely on hospitals for jobs and care. 

The extremism of Kansas Republicans illustrates the stakes of the 2024 legislative elections. Putting an end to unchecked Republican power in the state and defending the Democratic governor’s veto are  priorities for the DLCC this year. The DLCC will continue to sound the alarm on the dangerous impacts of Republicans’ anti-health care agenda in legislatures across the country. 

Kansas Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes issued the following statement

“While I’m disappointed and ashamed of my Republican colleagues who blocked Medicaid expansion, I’m incredibly thankful for the thousands of Kansans who spoke up and supported this legislation over the last three months. Kansans will remember how some Republican politicians once again chose to serve the special interests that fund their political campaigns rather than their constituents. They’ll remember how they voted against the nearly 80% of Kansans who support Medicaid expansion. They’ll remember in November.”

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“Kansas Republicans have had 10 years to expand Medicaid, but they’ve once again chosen to play politics and neglect the 152,000 Kansans that desperately need health care coverage. Make no mistake: There is absolutely zero reason why Kansas hasn’t expanded Medicaid. Zero. Kansas Republican’s decade-long obstruction illustrates the dangers of their unchecked power in the legislature – hundreds of millions of federal dollars are being left on the table and people’s lives are at stake. Republicans must be held accountable for their refusal to act on this common-sense policy.

The DLCC is sounding the alarm on the urgency around breaking the Republican supermajority and defending Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto power in 2024. Electing common-sense elected officials who put Kansans over politics has never been more urgent.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.