House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, took another pre-emptive step against any action on Medicaid expansion by removing Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, from the House Children and Seniors Committee. “In the absence of a courtesy call, I choose to infer that it had to do with Medicaid expansion,” Rooker told the Prairie Village Post last week. She explained that because of a procedural move in the 2015 session, a bill containing a Medicaid expansion proposal must be allowed a vote when that committee reconvenes. Last month, Merrick similarly pulled three other moderate Republicans who favor Medicaid expansion off the House Health and Human Services Committee. It’s telling that Merrick would rather use committee assignments to block expansion than allow the proposal to be debated and judged on its merits. – Rhonda Holman
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