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Wichita Chamber Board Votes To Support Medicaid Expansion

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Wichita Chamber has added Medicaid expansion to its list of legislative priorities. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, there are conditions attached to that support.

The board of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce has voted to support expanding Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program--known as KanCare--so that it covers more poor adults.

But that support is conditioned on two things:

  • First, the expansion plan must be revenue neutral, meaning it can’t increase costs to the cash-strapped state treasury.
  • And second, it must require that adults seeking coverage either work or participate in job training.

Both of those conditions may be difficult to meet. But expansion advocates, including members of the Kansas Hospital Association, say they’re eager to negotiate a plan that does.
It’s estimated that expansion would provide coverage to at least 150,000 Kansans--most of them adults who are now uninsured.

But Gov. Sam Brownback and many Republican legislative leaders remain opposed. Just last week, House Speaker Ray Merrick removed three lawmakers who support expansion from the Health and Human Services Committee.

Read more on this story from KHI News Service.