Draped in his pro-life invisibility cloak, Sam Brownback vetoes Medicaid expansion

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback did the expected on Thursday. He vetoed expanding Medicaid to approximately 150,000 low-income Kansas residents.

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It’s a stupid decision by a small and stupid man. In addition to improving the health and well-being of the less fortunate, the expansion would surely reap financial benefits for the state. It’s why you see John Kasich, a Republican governor whose presidential campaign got a hell of a lot farther than Brownback’s, fighting to protect the expansion.

Brownback’s lack of seriousness in considering his veto is evident in a statement released by his spokeswoman, Melika Willoughby. The statement begins and ends with shots at Obamacare, the popularity of which is Queen Mum–like relative to the governor’s

In between the unfounded talk of death spirals, Willoughby, the Hillsdale Myopian, reaches into Brownback’s stash of aborted-fetus sock puppets.

This veto ensures resources are sent to the truly vulnerable. This veto shields taxpayers from an unrestrainable ballooning budget. This veto protects extra taxpayer dollars from funneling to Planned Parenthood and their trafficking of baby body parts.

Most Americans, including many Trump voters, oppose defunding Planned Parenthood. About one in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life. But, sure, let’s deprive 150,000 people of health insurance because of some sting video

It’s telling that Willoughby and the governor talk about Planned Parenthood in their statements but don’t mention other health providers. The Kansas Hospital Association supports Medicaid expansion. So does the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians.

By making the Medicaid expansion about abortion, Brownback is following the “backlash” script that Thomas Frank described in his prescient book What’s the Matter With Kansas? (Frank’s coming to town!) A lot of Kansans see through it now. But not enough of them voted in 2014, which makes Browback’s veto pen such a powerful instrument. 

The fate of the Medicaid expansion is unclear. The Kansas House on Thursday paused debate on a vote to override the veto. 

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