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Advocates Likely To Push Harder For Expanded Medicaid In 2014

Kansans will likely increase the pressure to expand Medicaid next year, to cover thousands of uninsured residents.

Advocates say they'll push for an expansion once lawmakers convene their annual session January 13.

The Republican-dominated Legislature's displeasure with the federal health care overhaul led it to reject the expansion, which would be paid for with federal dollars.

The Affordable Care Act provides subsidies for millions of Americans living above the poverty level and contemplates states expanding their Medicaid programs to cover people living at or below the poverty level, or $23,550 for a family of four.

Some STATE legislators are skeptical that the federal government will keep its promise to finance most of the cost to expand coverage.

The nonpartisan Kansas Health Institute estimates an expansion would cover more than 85,000 people, almost a quarter of the state's uninsured residents.