GOP Medicaid expansion plan gets committee approval

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Republican-dominated Senate committee has endorsed a plan for expanding government-funded health care for poor and working-class Kansans in spite of 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. It contains provisions designed to keep some working-class Kansans in private health plans, rather than having them receive Medicaid, as plans favored by Democrats would.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the plan would offer health care coverage to an estimated 150,000 Kansans. It would raise tobacco and vaping taxes by $50 million and add a $31 million surcharge on hospitals and $63 million in fees assessed for managed-care organizations serving Medicaid clients.

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