The week of February 20th saw one of the most extraordinary events in recent memory in the Kansas legislature.
As you know, expansion of KanCare (Kansas' Medicaid program) has been a major priority this year for both KIFA and literally dozens of other organizations, hospitals, etc., working under the umbrella of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. A large number of the many new legislators this year had also run on the platform of expanding KanCare, so there has been a lot of expectation that something would be accomplished this year.
Well, a hearing had been held on the issue in the House Health Committee, but then, despite the fact that it was clear that a majority of the committee members would vote yes on the bill, the chairman tried to pull a power play and keep the bill bottled up in committee. And here comes the extraordinary part: in a rare legislative maneuver, the full House voted to pull the bill from the committee, and then voted, with a veto-proof majority, to pass the bill. Wow! I've never seen anything like it (granted, I've only been around 5 years, but still).
So now the bill moves to the Senate. There's a hearing on Monday, March 20, in front of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, and KIFA, along with about 150 of our closest friends, will again submit testimony.
What we need to do now:
Thank our representatives for voting to approve the expansion of KanCare (if you don't know who your rep is, visit ksleglookup.org.
Reach out to members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, especially if you are their constituents.
Then, if and when the bill gets out of the committee, reach out to your senators and ask them, insist that they, approve the expansion of KanCare.
The full story and a lot more information is available on the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas website.