Medicaid expansion could cause a big fight in the Kansas legislature again this year. Efforts to expand the health care program stalled last year after lawmakers failed to override a veto from Governor Sam Brownback.
Republican House Majority Leader Don Hineman supported the override effort last year, but he said the odds of approving expansion this year are pretty low.
"I think it’s unlikely right now, given our financial situation plus the uncertainty of what’s going to happen on the federal level," Hineman said.
However, David Jordan, with the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, said advocates are planning another big push this year. He said there is no uncertainty, because congress failed to repeal the federal health care law last year. Jordan said expanding Medicaid would boost hospitals and the overall health of Kansans.
"Kansas has lost over $2.3 billion by not taking action. The majority of Kansans and members of the legislature support expanding KanCare. We cannot afford to wait any longer," Jordan said.
Expanding the health care program would provide coverage for thousands of low-income Kansans.