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New Alliance Focuses On Medicaid Expansion In Kansas

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Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Kansas have been stymied by Gov. Sam Brownback’s unyielding opposition. A new alliance is focusing on passing an expansion bill in 2017.

The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas boasts 70 members, including advocacy groups, health care providers, unions and foundations. Although polls show a majority of Kansans support extending Medicaid to an estimated 150,000 additional low-income Kansans, Kansas remains one of 19 states that have refused to budge on the issue.

David Jordan takes the reins of the alliance next week.

“It's clear that Kansans support this work. We just need to organize them and elevate their voice so that the folks in Topeka are reflecting the values of the Kansans back home,” Jordan says.

The Kansas Hospital Association, which supports expansion, says missing out on the first three years of expansion has cost Kansas more than $1 billion in federal money.

Dan Margolies is editor in charge of health news at KCUR, the public radio station in Kansas City. Dan joined KCUR in April 2014. In a long and varied journalism career, he has worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star and Reuters. In a previous life, he was a lawyer. He has also worked as a media insurance underwriter and project development director for a video production firm.