Opinion Columns & Blogs

Allow debate, vote on Medicaid expansion

Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, has contended for some time that House GOP leaders haven’t allowed a debate on a budget bill this session because they are afraid of an amendment to expand Medicaid. The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce agrees. “Do not look for the House to push their own budget to the floor,” the chamber wrote in a legislative update last week. “House leadership does not want a Medicaid expansion debate and vote.” If that’s the case, that’s pathetic. Expansion could provide health insurance to more than 150,000 low-income Kansans, and it would be nearly entirely paid for with our federal taxes. It is literally a life-and-death matter to many Kansans. But GOP leaders apparently won’t even allow a vote. – Phillip Brownlee