Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have expanded Medicaid to approximately 150,000 low-income Kansas residents.
Brownback moved quickly to reject the bill. The legislature only officially delivered the legislation on Thursday morning, and he had 10 days to make a decision. Clearly the governor had already made up his mind.
This is, obviously, a huge setback for Medicaid expansion efforts — but the fight isn’t completely over. The Kansas legislature is likely to explore whether they can garner enough support to override the governor’s veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.
Specifically, Medicaid expansion would need 27 votes in the 40-member Senate and 84 votes in the 120-member House. It received 25 votes in the Senate and 81 votes in the House, meaning the bill is just a few votes shy of a veto-proof majority.
Kansas hospitals, it appears, plan to be involved in pushing for a veto override, according to Marketplace’s Dan Gorenstein.
- Vox’s Dylan Matthews and Jacob Gorenstein surveyed 18 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid to find out where they stand on the policy
- The New York Times recently published an excellent history of Medicaid and how it has become more entrenched in the American social safety net with Obamacare’s expansion.
- One fact that surprised me about this Medicaid expansion fight: Many of the legislators fighting for the program are Republicans.