Just days ago, President Trump and the GOP were set to hold a vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the America First Health Plan. But as Thursday rolled around and President Trump didn’t have the votes he needed to pass his bill, the vote was pushed back to Friday. Then came Friday, and the vote was scrapped as Trump faced opposition not only from across the aisle, but from within his own party, as well. Now, Kansas GOP lawmakers have taken the situation one step further and approved Kansas Medicaid Expansion.
Is Kansas Medicaid Expansion a Domino Ready to Kickstart Obamacare Across the Country?
While many Republican lawmakers are moving on from the Trumpcare failure, some seem to be doing what the Obama administration tried to convince them to do for years — accept Obamacare. In Kansas, the state Senate voted to accept the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion by a vote of 25-13, with both Democrats and Republicans voting in favor. The state’s House already voted for the expansion earlier in the year, meaning that the expansion just has to clear the state’s governor, Sam Brownback. The bill goes through one more vote, and if it can achieve a big enough majority, would then be veto-proof, and signed into law.
This Medicaid expansion would cover about 150,000 low-income Kansas residents if the bill clears Gov. Brownback, or gains the majority in House and Senate. The bill’s supporters presented 190 written testimonials from every care provider in the state of Kansas, who unanimously endorsed the Medicaid expansion.
However, most experts believe Brownback will veto the bill. The man is a staunch advocate of Obamacare, as evidenced by his communications director, Melika Willoughby, who said “To expand Obamacare when the program is in a death spiral is not responsible policy. Kansas must prioritize the care and service of vulnerable Kansans, addressing their health care needs in a sustainable way, not expanding a failing entitlement program to able-bodied adults.”
Watch this video from Wochit News regarding the approval of Medicaid expansion:
While the bill looks likely to fail, it seems clear that moderate Republicans are more in favor of the ACA, even under pressure from now red states. Without a repeal and replace plan, Obamacare could not only be sticking around for the rest of Trump’s tenure, but gaining in support on both sides of the aisle.
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Featured image via PBS