Kansas House committee votes down Medicaid expansion bill: 4 things to know

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The Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee on Monday voted to halt a bill that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to an estimated 181,000 people, according to the Lawrence Journal World.

Here are four things to know about the decision, according to the report.

1. Rep. John Barker, R, offered the motion to table the bill, saying he didn't think the state should embark on such a financial commitment until the Kansas Supreme Court makes a decision on a pending school finance lawsuit, which could force the state to spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars on K-12 education, according to the report. 

2. Kansas Medicaid officials estimated that expanding the state's Medicaid program would cost the state about $52 million annually, and it would receive a total of about $1 billion in federal funding.

3. Supporters of Medicaid expansion in the state argued the program could help save small hospitals that have been in financial turmoil, while opponents said the state government cannot afford it.

4. The fate of the bill is now in the hands of House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., R, who has the authority to enact a procedural move that would exempt the bill from its ordinary deadline. However, Speaker Ryckman has not given any indication of whether he will do that, according to the report.

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