Kansas GOP Medicaid expansion plan gets committee approval


October 25, 2019 - 5:00 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican-dominated Senate committee has endorsed a plan for expanding government-funded health care for poor and working-class Kansans, despite concerns that it raises tobacco taxes and doesn’t have a work requirement for participants.

The Medicaid expansion proposal written by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning differs significantly from an expansion plan backed by Gov. Laura Kelly and fellow Democrats.

Denning’s plan is designed not only to expand the state’s $3.8 billion-a-year Medicaid program but also to lower premiums paid by Kansas consumers who buy their insurance through an online federal marketplace set up under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act. The goal is to keep some Kansans in private health plans, rather than having them move to Medicaid, as plans favored by Democrats would do.

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