So what does this mean? Well, it's not good at all:HB 2552, which requires an act of the Legislature to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, has been signed by Gov. Sam Brownback, his office announced Friday.
The bill was originally created to require prompt payment from KanCare providers. It was amended on the Senate floor to include legislative approval of a Medicaid expansion.
“It doesn’t take a position on whether or not Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act should take place in Kansas. But what it does say is it should be up to the people’s elected representatives to make that decision,” said Rep. John Rubin, a Republican from Shawnee who carried the amended bill on the House floor.
Rubin agreed that since the Legislature is already finished with its regular session, the issue will not come up again until 2015. - The Wichita Eagle, 4/20/14
And Brownback knows he could lose re-election so this could be his final "fuck you" to Kansas:But proponents of the Medicaid expansion argue that Brownback is essentially abdicating his responsibility. Other GOP governors have also supported shifting the power to expand the public health program onto the legislature. That could be a political maneuver to avoid taking a firm position on the policy. Now that Obamacare is fully in effect, and millions of people are gaining coverage under the law, Republican lawmakers have been more hesitant to publicly acknowledge their opposition to expanding Medicaid.
Advocates for Medicaid expansion aren’t giving up. The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, which has been pushing for the policy, plans to continue working with lawmakers to explain the benefits of accepting the optional expansion.
Kansas isn’t alone. Over 20 GOP-led states have refused to expand Medicaid, leaving about six million of the poorest Americans without any access to affordable health care whatsoever. The people who live in those states are already disproportionately poorer and sicker than the people living in the states that are accepting the expansion. The ongoing resistance to this Obamacare provision threatens to widen those regional disparities even further. - Think Progress, 4/21/14
Yep, real dick move. That's why we have to make sure Brownback gets the boot this year. Click here to donate and get involved with Davis' campaign:The law means that even if Democrat Paul Davis succeeds in taking Brownback’s seat this fall, he will still lack the authority to implement the law unilaterally.
Twenty-six states opted to expand Medicaid using federal funds made available under the president’s landmark health-care law. Several of the 24 states that have opted not to expand the program under the law are pursuing alternatives. Utah, in particular, has already won a key concession in implementing the law and hopes to score another in providing an alternate expansion, Wonkblog’s Jason Millman recently reported:
Utah had its own exchange for small businesses that predated the federal health care law, and the state wanted to keep running it as is without also having to oversee individual enrollment. The Obama administration originally said states couldn’t divide up an exchange like that – but after Utah battled with the feds for three years on this point, CMS changed course early last year and said states could choose to run just their own small business exchanges. - Washington Post, 4/21/14