Medicaid expansion uncertain during national debate

While the debate of over the future of the Affordable Care Act brews in Washington, attempts to expand Medicaid in Kansas hang in the balance. Despite calls to repeal the ACA, the Kansas House of Representatives voted Friday to expand coverage to an estimated 150,000 uninsured.

TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT)  –  While the debate of over the future of the Affordable Care Act brews in Washington, attempts to expand Medicaid in Kansas hang in the balance. Despite calls to repeal the ACA, the Kansas House of Representatives voted Friday to expand coverage to an estimated 150,000 uninsured.

“You get sick and you figure out, do I go to the doctor or not… or do I take my medication or not… and most often the answer will be no,” said Denise Cyzman, executive director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

Currently, the federal government is expected to reimburse states for 95 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion under ACA; however, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace the program.

What does this mean for states that expanded their Medicaid coverage under the ACA?

Gov. Sam Brownback’s office told KSNT News that they believe a system based on Medicaid enrollment is the best option.

“The flexibility of block granting based on a per-capita formula best allows for state-based innovation and care,” said Melika Willoughby, communications director for Gov. Brownback.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee will hold two hearings on the House Medicaid expansion plan March 20-21.

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