Kansas legislative panels nix funding for expanding Medicaid

Capitol Bureau

Two Republican-controlled committees of the Kansas Legislature have stripped Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s proposed state spending for Medicaid expansion out of budget legislation.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 7-6 on Thursday to remove $14 million from a proposed budget for the state health department for the fiscal year beginning in July. The money represented Kelly’s initial estimate for the state tax dollars needed to draw down federal funds for the first six months after expanded Medicaid coverage started in January.

Medicaid expansion has bipartisan support, but GOP leaders strongly oppose it. They argue that supporters are underestimating the state’s potential costs.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 13-9 on Wednesday to remove not only the state tax dollars but the entire $509 million for expanded Medicaid coverage.

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