Medicaid expansion moves forward in Kansas amid federal uncertainty
TOPEKA -- Kansas state lawmakers advanced a Medicaid expansion proposal on Thursday even as Congress contemplated a bill that could halt states from expanding the program.
Supporters of expanding KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, said the debate in Kansas can’t be dictated by Washington. Opponents urged lawmakers to wait until the federal health care debate progresses.
The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed the expansion proposal, House Bill 2044, on a voice vote. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. The committee chairwoman, Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, expects the Senate to debate the bill.
Medicaid is a federal program administered by the states that provides health insurance coverage to disabled and low-income people. The bill passed by the Senate panel would increase income eligibility for the program to 133 percent of the federal poverty line – $24,600 for a family of four.