Kansas House fails in attempt to override Medicaid veto

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland

By Timothy Mclaughlin

(Reuters) – Kansas lawmakers failed to override Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto on Monday on a bill expanding Medicaid eligibility for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Kansas House of Representatives voted 81-44 to override the veto, leaving three votes short of the 84 needed to advance override.

State lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Senate voted in favor of the measure last week, just days after President Donald Trump‘s efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare, ended with the removal of the bill. law.

The Republican-controlled House also voted in favor of the measure, but Brownback quickly vetoed the bill Thursday. The House began a debate on overriding the veto that day, but postponed the vote until Monday.

“It is disappointing that the Kansas House did not override the veto because a small group of representatives chose to side with the Governor rather than the 82% of Kansans who support the expansion of KanCare and the vast majority of their colleagues in both. cameras, “David Jordan, said in a statement Monday the executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a coalition of groups that backed the expansion of Medicaid.

Brownback said the measure did not eliminate waiting lists for disability services, did not add work requirements and was not budget neutral. She also continued to support Planned Parenthood, which provides a variety of reproductive services, including abortions, which Brownback opposes.

Kansas was not among the 31 states that had chosen to expand Medicaid in 2016, with the federal government bearing much of the low cost Obamacare.

With enhanced federal funding from the ACA, the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas, effective January 1, 2018, would cost the state an estimated $ 31 million in fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1, according to estimates. cited in a legislative report on the bill.

It would cost $ 67 million in fiscal 2019 with more than 180,000 additional recipients, according to the report.

Without enhanced federal matching funds, the state’s costs would skyrocket to $ 465 million for fiscal year 2019.

Kansas tax collections fell $ 11.6 million below estimates for March, primarily due to lower-than-expected personal income taxes, the state department of revenue reported Monday. However, tax revenue so far in fiscal year 2017 was $ 57.5 million above projections.

(The story was resubmitted to remove the headline’s “reporting” source; the vote is in the public record of the Kansas legislature)

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