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Politics

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Mark Hutton Open To KanCare Expansion

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Stephen Koranda
/
Kansas Public Radio, File Photo
Republican candidate for Kansas governor Mark Hutton talks with Statehouse reporters Tuesday at an impromptu news conference.

Among Republicans vying to be Kansas’s next governor, Mark Hutton is on the conservative side. But he says he’s open to expanding KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a Medicaid expansion bill last session.

But gubernatorial hopeful Mark Hutton says he’s open to working with expansion advocates to fashion a “Kansas-specific” plan.

“I believe we have an opportunity to create something that’s unique to Kansas," he says. "We have a culture in Washington, D.C., that I think is open and ready to talk about alternative approaches.”

That’s a reference to the Trump administration’s perceived openness to plans that require non-disabled adults to work or enroll in job training in exchange for health benefits through Medicaid.

The Obama administration rejected several “red” state plans with work and co-pay requirements. Some states are now resubmitting those plans.

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Jim McLean is managing director of KMUW's Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics in Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @jmcleanks.