Kansas Legislature takes up issue of Medicaid expansion

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February 22, 2013

Kansas

By Greg Janetka

TOPEKA, Kansas: The issue of Medicaid expansion is heating up in Kansas, where competing reports are fighting to sway state legislators to their way of thinking.

Earlier this month, Gov. Sam Brownback's administration released a study that stated expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act would cost Kansas an estimated $600 million over 10 years. The study, done by actuaries at the consulting firm Aon Hewitt, projected Medicaid expenses to increase $513.5 million without the expansion. With the expansion the total comes to $1.1 billion.[1]

Those numbers, however, were contradicted by a report issued by the Kansas Hospital Association this week. The study, done by Regional Economic Models Inc. and George Washington University, estimates that expansion could result in a net savings of $82 million by 2020 and create 4,000 new jobs.[2]

Whose numbers are more accurate? Gov. Brownback has left that decision up to state legislators. The Appropriations Committee of the House is holding a meeting today to consider a resolution declaring their opposition to expansion.[3]

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