Kansas Draws Ever Closer To Possible Medicaid Expansion

Kansas lawmakers have voted to expand the state’s Medicaid health care program to more low-income individuals.

The bill passed 25-13 in a first-round Senate vote Monday. It will see a final vote Tuesday. If approved, it would then go to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk.

The House passed the measure last month after expansion supporters tried unsuccessfully for four years to get a floor debate and vote.

Opponents in the Statehouse have largely relied on cost and uncertainty over what Congress will do to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as reasons not to expand.

But supporters say congressional Republicans’ failure to vote on their health care bill last week is more reason to expand. They contend expansion would be an economic boon to the state.

Brownback has stopped short of saying that he would veto the bill.