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Kansas Medicaid Expansion Urged; GOP Not Budging

Associated Press - February 17, 2014 7:21 pm

The Kansas Senate has approved regulations for counselors who help consumers navigate an online insurance marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul strongly opposed by most Republican state officials.

The Kansas Senate has approved regulations for counselors who help consumers navigate an online insurance marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul strongly opposed by most Republican state officials.

Advocates of expanding Medicaid in Kansas have staged a small rally at the Statehouse, but the Republican-dominated Legislature doesn’t seem much interested in taking up the issue.

About 50 people attended the rally Monday organized by local chapters of the liberal group MoveOn.org. The group supports expanding Medicaid in line with the federal health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama.

Speakers said the expansion could help 150,000 more Kansans obtain health coverage. Medicaid covers health care for the poor and disabled.

Legislators last year enacted a budget law barring a Medicaid expansion through June 2015.

And no proposal for expanding Medicaid is headed for a legislative vote so far this year.

Republican Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said Kansans simply don’t want to be part of implementing the Democratic president’s health care changes.

City of Salina