Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally at Statehouse

TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) Supporters of Medicaid expansion gathered at the Statehouse in Topeka Thursday say they hope this will be the last year they have to rally to see the program passed.

Thursday morning, about 150 people filled the capitol rotunda. A bipartisan plan for Medicaid expansion is currently being debated in a Senate committee.

Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers, along with a Republican lawmaker Thursday joined advocates speaking about why they believe Kansas needs to expand Medicaid.

In attendance at the Statehouse Thursday, Amy Ferguson says expanding Medicaid would have provided easier access to drug treatment options after dealing with addiction.

"I was ready for drug treatment, but there was no healthcare available to me," Ferguson says. "I could (in) no way afford it on my own and there's just no answer. There are no answers, like I said, except for jails, institutions and deaths at that point."

Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Kansas say they're asking for the current, bipartisan bill to not be amended. Last week, after the Kansas House failed to pass a Constitutional amendment on abortion, Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said to pass Medicaid expansion, the abortion amendment would also need approval.