A Wichita Democrat is trying to revive a Medicaid expansion bill that was tabled earlier this week.
Rep. Jim Ward, the House minority leader, asked Tuesday to take HB 2064 out of the Health and Human Services Committee, where it was tabled until early April to allow more time for a Kansas Supreme Court ruling on school finance.
It would need 70 votes on Wednesday to be brought to the House floor out of committee.
Ward said all 125 representatives in the Kansas House should have a chance to vote on Medicaid expansion.
“The people of Kansas clearly deserve to know where their state representative stands on this issue,” Ward said Tuesday. “We’ll use whatever tool we have to get that bill on the floor.”
The people of Kansas clearly deserve to know where their state representative stands on this issue.
House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita
The bill would expand access to Medicaid to more than 150,000 Kansans under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals and health groups have long pushed for the Legislature to hold hearings on an expansion bill.
Lawmakers who favor the bill say it would expand health care opportunities to vulnerable Kansans and help rural hospitals. Opponents worry about the financial burden of expansion on the state, particularly if major parts of the Affordable Care Act are rolled back at the federal level.
Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, proposed tabling the bill in committee until early April. But he said Tuesday that he didn’t have a problem with the bill being debated on the House floor.
“I think it’ll be a lively debate,” he said.