Politics & Government

House health panel to vote on KanCare expansion

The Kansas House health committee will vote next week on whether to expand the state’s privatized Medicaid program, called KanCare.

Lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday from cities, businesses, physicians and patients urging them to expand KanCare. The expansion would provide insurance to an estimated 150,000 Kansans who currently make too much money to qualify for KanCare but not enough to qualify for subsidies to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Proponents say the expansion would be at least budget-neutral or save money, but the state budget office estimates the plan would still cost more than $150 million in the first two fiscal years.

Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement the state shouldn’t expand KanCare because the Trump administration will likely repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Opponents will testify on Thursday.