Kansas House Approves Medicaid Expansion Bill Amendment

On Wednesday, supporters of expanding Medicaid eligibility to more low-income Kansans succeeded in a last-gasp effort to advance a measure, overpowering opponents who thought they had blocked it earlier in the week.

The Kansas House voted 85-40 to amend the contents of the expansion bill — House Bill 2064 — into a measure that would allow some community-based mental health programs to bill Medicaid for their services.

The amendment was necessary because opponents on the House Health and Human Services Committee blocked an effort Monday to move the expansion bill onto the House floor on its own, prevailing by a single vote.

Wednesday’s vote was the first on Medicaid expansion in the House or Senate since the U.S. Supreme Court made it an option for states in a 2012 ruling.

Rep. Susan Concannon of Beloit (pictured) spearheaded the rescue effort, reminding House members that the state’s rejection of expansion has cost Kansas an estimated $1.7 billion in additional federal funds over the last three years.