Kansas lawmakers postpone vote on Medicaid veto

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

The Latest on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoing an expansion of the state's Medicaid program (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Kansas legislators have postponed a vote on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have expanded the state's Medicaid program.

Supporters of the bill launched an effort Thursday to override the veto in the House shortly after Brownback announced his action.

But they realized that one of the bill's supporters wasn't present and pushed to table the discussion indefinitely. The vote was 81-43.

The bill would have extended the state's health coverage for the poor, disabled and elderly under former President Barack Obama's signature health care law to cover up to 180,000 more adults.

Brownback is a vocal critic of the 2010 Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare" and argued that an expansion would result in uncontrollable costs for the state.

9:55 a.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has vetoed a bill that would have extended the state's health coverage for the poor under former President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

The conservative Republican governor made the move Thursday. He explained that he thinks the expansion would fail to serve the truly needy and would burden the state with what he called "unrestrainable entitlement costs."

Read the governor's full statement here

The bill would have expanded Medicaid coverage to as many as 180,000 additional adults.

Legislators gave final approval to the measure Tuesday. It had strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers, but supporters were short of the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a veto. Nevertheless, they are expected to try.

Brownback has been a vocal critic of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," and his action was expected.

“I am vetoing this expansion of ObamaCare because it fails to serve the truly vulnerable before the able-bodied, lacks work requirements to help able-bodied Kansans escape poverty, and burdens the state budget with unrestrainable entitlement costs," Brownback said in a statement. "Most grievously, this legislation funnels more taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. From its infancy, the state of Kansas has affirmed the dignity and equality of each human life. I will not support this legislation that continues to fund organizations that undermine a culture of life.”

KAKE News contributed to this update.

5:45 a.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has until April 8 to decide whether the state will expand its health coverage for the poor under former President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

The Republican-controlled Legislature on Wednesday delivered a bill expanding the state's Medicaid program to the conservative GOP governor's office. The state constitution gives him 10 days to sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

Many lawmakers expect Brownback to veto the measure. He's a vocal critic of the former Democratic president's 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The bill before Brownback would have Medicaid cover up to 180,000 additional Kansas residents.

The ACA encouraged states to expand their programs by promising to pay most of the cost. But Brownback's administration still sees an expansion as potentially costly.
 

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