Kansas Medicaid expansion dead barring supermajority vote

SOURCE: MGN

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) UPDATE: A bill to expand Medicaid in Kansas is likely dead after House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. indicated he wouldn't revive it.

The bill was tabled by a House committee Monday. It's unlikely to make it out of the House before the deadline for bills to pass their chamber of origin, killing it for the year.

The House could vote by supermajority to bring it out of committee or Ryckman could exempt it from the deadline. But Ryckman defended the committee process in a statement Tuesday, indicating he won't exempt it.

The bill would have expanded Medicaid to non-elderly adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Supporters said it would bring in federal funds, but opponents were concerned about costs and changes to the Affordable Care Act.

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Kansas lawmakers won't vote on expanding Medicaid until at least April 3.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted Monday to table the bill right before the deadline for committees to pass bills onto the floor. That could kill the bill for this year.

Committee Vice Chair Susan Concannon says she will try to get House Speaker Ron Ryckman to exempt the bill from deadlines so that it can be considered later this year.

Expanding Medicaid would give coverage to people who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. It has support from health care advocates, providers, business groups and patients.

Conservative think tanks and a state agency overseeing the program oppose the bill.

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