Gov. Sam Brownback has softened his position on Medicaid expansion. The Missouri Times reports that in remarks recently to conservative lawmakers in Missouri, Brownback said that if the Kansas Legislature presented him with a budget-neutral expansion bill, he likely would sign it. Brownback has made it clear any Medicaid expansion bill that reaches his desk must cover the state’s share of the costs. The Affordable Care Act obligates the federal government to cover states’ expansion costs until 2017 and not less than 90 percent thereafter.
Eileen Hawley, Brownback’s spokesperson, said the governor wants to “fully understand” the fiscal impact of Medicaid expansion and the potential costs if the federal government “is unable to maintain the 90 percent match” due to its own budget problems. Locally, former CEO Steve Perkins last year, said that South Central Kansas Medical Center is losing out on $170,000 to $180,000 a year because Kansas has not accepted Medicaid expansion.