Medicaid Expansion Advocates Protest With Fliers In The Kansas Statehouse

May 3, 2019

Medicaid expansion advocates threw thousands of fliers off balconies in the Kansas Statehouse Friday to protest a lack of action as the clock ticks down on the legislative session.

The fliers were made to look like overdue hospital bills splattered with blood. They named senators who haven't supported expansion this year. The papers fluttered down from fifth floor balconies into the rotunda.

Logan Stenseng, a University of Kansas student involved in the protest, said Senate leaders are blocking a popular proposal.

“We are here because 150,000 Kansans could get health care," he said. "The further you delay, the longer you delay, you are denying that.”

A Medicaid expansion plan passed the House, but it’s been held up in a Senate committee.

Republican Sen. Gene Suellentrop chairs that committee and was named on the fliers.

“What these people don’t realize is the amount of work we’re doing behind the scenes to figure something out,” Suellentrop said after the protest.

Senate leaders want to develop a compromise to consider next year.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @kprkoranda.

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