Kansas Senate approves KanCare expansion, sends bill to Gov. Sam Brownback

But after numerous conservative lawmakers who blocked prior efforts to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were swept out of office in last year's election, Kansas' Republican-controlled Legislature provided that approval this week.

Mike Beebe, a Democrat, approved the private option in 2013, supporters of Medicaid expansion have struggled each year to obtain the three-quarters vote required in the 100-member House and 35-member Senate for the division's appropriation.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback argued that the proposed expansion of the state's Medicaid program would fail to serve "the truly vulnerable" ahead of "the able-bodied", and that it would burden the state budget with "unrestrainable entitlement costs".

He also said the bill would lead to an increase in funding for Planned Parenthood. They know they're going to get emails and calls.

"I think the fight about the continuation or the existence of it is something that's really in the rear view mirror now", Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren said after the vote. It received 25 votes in the Senate and 81 votes in the House, meaning the bill is just a few votes shy of a veto-proof majority.

Expanding Medicaid is the Affordable Care Act's primary mechanism for extending health coverage to millions of previously ineligible low-income adults.

Kansas was not among the 31 states that in 2016 had opted to expand Medicaid, with the federal government footing much of the cost under Obamacare.

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The bill before Brownback would have Medicaid cover up to 180,000 additional Kansas residents.

In Brownback, we have a governor who seldom misses an opportunity to share his compassion for his fellow man, his guiding principle of the value of human life and the peace that's found by following Christ's example in one's daily life. He said the state's direction is unsustainable.

In Ohio, the state estimated that rolling back the Medicaid expansion entirely would have saved it $3.7 billion over a decade on Medicaid costs. Analysts estimate the Republican-backed bill to expand Medicaid in Kansas would cover 150,000 now uninsured people in the state and create as many as 4,000 jobs.

The Georgia legislature is unlikely to tackle any changes to Medicaid this year, as lawmakers wrap up their session this week, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who has been optimistic that Republicans could update their health bill in the near future, said a surge of states expanding eligibility could hurt House Republicans' overall goal, in part by adding to the federal debt and deficit.

"They will push even harder when they see a loss of revenue from some of the disproportionate share payments", Hoadley said in an interview. "He didn't want to hear from people who say 'Don't veto the bill.' So he not only broke his word that it was a legislative decision, he did it in a way that the people of Kansas couldn't weigh in".

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