TOPEKA — Efforts to expand Medicaid in Kansas were dealt a blow Wednesday after an amendment to do just that was rejected largely along party lines on the Senate floor.
The proposed expansion came in the form of an amendment to a bill increasing funding for community mental health clinics and addressing telemedicine treatment. The amendment sparked the first formal debate on the issue this session, with Republican legislators signaling the idea would not gain much traction in 2021.
Opponents of the amendment raised concerns that it had not been raised or vetted in committee and questioned the cost of expansion. Supporters countered that the expansion would complement efforts within the bill, and costs would be offset through federal funding and secondary economic gains.