Topeka Capital Journal: A Congress bill would let cities, counties sidestep states to expand Medicaid. Here is what it means for Kansas.

By Andrew Bahl | June 22, 2021

A bill introduced in Congress last week to let cities and counties opt in to expand Medicaid is gaining attention from advocates in Kansas, who have long pushed for increase eligibility in the program statewide, a plan which has been thwarted by legislative Republicans.

But others caution the measure isn’t a panacea, especially given its uncertain path forward in Washington. And it would likely not help rural parts of the state, which expansion proponents have long argued to be the main beneficiaries of increased eligibility.

Nationally, 12 states haven’t expanded Medicaid, increasing the income cap for the program targeted at low-income residents — an option available under the Affordable Care Act. A protracted court battle is expected in Missouri after legislators opted not to follow through on expansion, despite a referendum on the matter passing last year.

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