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Kansas Senate Committee Endorses Bill To Expand Medicaid

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has endorsed a bill that would expand the state's Medicaid program to provide health coverage for 150,000 additional poor adults.

The bill approved Monday by the Public Health and Welfare Committee would expand Medicaid as encouraged by the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act championed by former President Barack Obama. The Medicaid program covers more than 370,000 poor, disabled and elderly Kansas residents.

The committee's voice vote sent the measure to the full Senate, but Majority Leader Jim Denning indicated that a debate is not likely to occur soon.

Former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a similar bill last year. New Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer also opposes an expansion.

Supporters say expanding Medicaid would help the uninsured. Critics see it as potentially costly for the state.