By Jonathan Shorman | March 2, 2020

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, and Senate Republican Leader Jim Denning ramped up a pressure campaign Monday to break Senate President Susan Wagle’s blockade of their Medicaid expansion compromise, which Kelly called “immoral.”

If it passes, the bipartisan Medicaid deal would represent a signature achievement for Kelly and Denning, extending health care coverage to upwards of 130,000 low-income Kansans. But Republican opponents have for weeks thwarted action on the measure, in response to the Legislature’s failure to advance an anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution.

Wagle, aided by the Republican chairman of the Senate health committee, has stopped expansion legislation from reaching the Senate floor, where it commands majority support. But Kelly and Denning say they are perhaps only a single vote away from breaking the gridlock.

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