At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Kansas hospital administrators signaled their willingness to talk about increasing a state assessment on their revenues to fund Medicaid expansion.
They anticipated that the state’s deteriorating budget situation would make it impossible for Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders to consider expansion without a way to pay for the state’s share of the costs.
And they anticipated that even with funding options, Medicaid expansion was a long shot to pass.
Supporters say they still hope to force floor votes on an expansion bill, although Brownback and legislative leaders remain opposed to it.
But it’s clear that hospital officials didn’t anticipate the turn of events that has put them on the defensive in the final weeks of the session.
Brownback and key lawmakers are now talking about raising the provider assessment. But they see it as a way to help balance the budget rather than fund a Medicaid expansion plan.