Analysis: Another Kansas debate over Medicaid likely

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By John Hannah

Kansas legislators are likely to have another debate next year over expanding the state’s Medicaid program

Antipathy from conservative Republicans toward the federal health care overhaul prevented such a move this year by either Gov. Sam Brownback or the GOP-dominated Legislature.

But a debate appears to be coming because of what advocates of an expansion see as a perverse result. They expect thousands of poor Kansas adults to remain without health coverage, even as the federal government provides subsidies to better-off neighbors.

Advocates of a Medicaid expansion expect word-of-mouth among poor Kansans and their neighbors to pressure legislators to reconsider. Prominent Democrats also want to raise the issue ahead of next year’s campaign against Brownback’s re-election.

Even Republicans who still oppose an expansion expect a debate.