Kansas gets more “Obamacare” funds despite Brownback’s opposition to the law

? Kansas is getting more “Obamacare” money despite Gov. Sam Brownback’s opposition to the law.

The state received $3.2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of $137 million awarded to nearly every state, it was announced Thursday.

Of Kansas’ share, $3.1 million is to strengthen public health immunization and nearly $100,000 was for a tobacco cessation services.

“More than ever, it is important to help states fight disease and protect public health,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a former governor of Kansas.

“These awards are an important investment and will enable states and communities to help Americans quit smoking, get immunized and prevent disease and illness before they start,” she said.

Sebelius said most of the funds awarded came from the Prevention and Public Health Fund that was created by Affordable Care Act.

Recently, Brownback, a Republican who opposed the Affordable Care Act as a senator and wants it repealed, rejected a $31.5 million grant from HHS to implement in Kansas a health insurance exchange that is part of the Act. The exchange is aimed at helping people purchase insurance.

In rejecting the grant, Brownback said there were too many strings attached and he voiced concern over the future of federal funding.

A committee put together to implement the exchange, however, has decided to keep working on the issue.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, also a Republican, said it made sense to continue working on the exchange because the law requires it be implemented. It would be better to have one that is tailored to Kansas needs instead of waiting for the federal government to implement it, she said.

“One way or another, we are going to have an exchange,” she said.