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Kan. governor vetoes Medicaid expansion bill

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Kan. governor vetoes Medicaid expansion bill

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a bill to expand the state's Medicaid program to Kansans below 133% of the poverty level, projected to be between 150,000 and 180,000 people.

In a statement on the veto, Brownback said changes would be "unwise" when efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act are still ongoing and Medicaid funding changes could be on the horizon.

Under the ACA, the federal government funds most of the cost of expansion to new Medicaid recipients, a provision that has been up for debate with recent repeal-and-replace efforts.

Brownback, a Republican, stated that the bill did not meet three of his criteria: a plan for eliminating a waiting list for disability services, work requirements for able-bodied adults on the program and budget neutrality. He also said he was disappointed that the bill would lead to an increase in funding for Planned Parenthood.

Bill supporters largely anticipated the governor's veto and an override vote is expected today. An override requires 84 house votes and 27 senate votes. Eighty-one representatives voted for the bill on February 23 and 25 senators on March 28.

In an email after the veto, Rep. Jim Ward, a Democrat and the original sponsor of the bill, said an override will be "difficult today because of expedited schedule for override vote."