Medicaid Expansion in Kansas Is Officially Dead

The House failed to override Gov. Brownback’s veto.

Joshua Roberts/ZUMA

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The Kansas House of Representatives on Monday narrowly failed to overturn Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) veto of legislation that would have expanded Medicaid benefits to thousands of low-income residents of the state. Democrats and moderate Republicans joined forced to support the measure, but the 81-44 vote fell three votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for a successful override.

The state House and Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans, had previously voted to take advantage of a provision in Obamacare under which the federal government would cover the bulk of the cost of expanding the Kansas’ Medicaid program. It was estimated more than 150,000 additional people would have enrolled in the program had it become law.

Kansas was one of 19 states to opt out of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Amid the state’s ongoing economic struggles, however, many Republican lawmakers came to embrace the policy. On Thursday, Brownback vetoed the measure, calling Medicaid expansion “irresponsible and unsustainable.”

Check out Mother Jones’ previous reporting on how Kansas Republicans softened their hard-line stance on Obamacare.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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