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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Medicaid expansion: 'We have become an island in Midwest'

laura kelly
Posted at 5:01 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 18:01:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly expressed her frustration for the state's lack of expanded medicaid services, saying "we have become an island in the Midwest," in a press briefing Monday afternoon.

She also said, House Bill 2016, which was passed in June as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been a sufficient strategy to combat the virus.

"House Bill 2016 does not contain a whole of the state strategy for testing our population for COVID-19 or providing a vaccine, let alone a mask mandate," Kelly said.

According to Kelly, the state has made progress in economic development, highlighting an Urban Outfitter's distribution center in Wyandotte County, expanding the Schwan's facility in Salina, and a new modern manufacturing facility in Eudora.

Kelly says the efforts could be cut short if the state isn't able to slow the spread of the virus.

"I fear that if we cannot get a handle on the spread of the virus, we will not maintain our successes," she said.

Kelly also said she is concerned that lawmakers in Washington will strike down the Affordable Care Act in November.

"More than 1 million Kansans with pre-existing conditions would be in danger of being kicked off of their health insurance plans, including the over 53,000 Kansans who have contracted COVID-19," Kelly said.