By Jonathan Shorman | Jan. 9, 2020

When Gov. Laura Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning walked into the Kansas Capitol rotunda Thursday to announce an agreement on Medicaid expansion, the rare sight of the sometimes-rivals together capped roughly three months of negotiations that may pave the way for more than 100,000 Kansans to receive health coverage.

The extraordinary deal marked a rare bipartisan compromise just days before lawmakers get back to work. But the Legislature must still approve it first.

If passed, the measure will bring Medicaid expansion to Kansas nearly a decade after Congress approved the Affordable Care Act, the law that encouraged states to grow the health coverage program. Kansas is just one of 14 states that have not expanded.

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