GOP Opposition Hasn’t Quieted Kansas Medicaid Debate

Pressure is likely to build next year in Kansas to expand Medicaid to cover thousands of uninsured residents, despite the Republican-dominated Legislature’s displeasure with the federal health care overhaul.

Advocates for the needy and consumers promise to push for an expansion once lawmakers convene their annual session Jan. 13.

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

Supporters face Republicans’ strong opposition to the 2010 health care law championed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat. There’s also GOP skepticism that the federal government will keep promises to finance most of the cost.

The rocky rollout of the federally run online health insurance marketplace also toughened some Republicans’ resolve.