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Brownback remains undecided on Medicaid expansion; supports adult stem cell center; declines to state position on drug testing welfare recipients and relaxing renewable energy standards


Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday said he hasn't made up his mind on whether Kansas should opt in to a federally funded expansion of Medicaid, but he expressed concerns about the future flow of dollars to the state from Washington, D.C.

In a brief question and answer period with reporters as the 2013 legislative session neared the midway point, Brownback said he was still analyzing data on Medicaid expansion but added that he is worried about future costs.

"We have a lot of pressures on the state budget that are significant," he said. He mentioned a court order to increase school funding, an at-capacity prison system and what he described as high demand for spending on public universities.

In addition, Brownback predicted that federal funding to the state in general would decrease over the next decade because of federal budget difficulties.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the feds would pay 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs for three years and then ratchet that down to 90 percent over the next several years.

On other issues, Brownback declined to state his position on bills that would relax renewable energy standards and require drug testing of some welfare beneficiaries.

"We'll see what gets to me," he said of a measure approved by a House committee to rollback the requirements for renewable energy.

On a bill approved by a Senate committee that would require drug tests for recipients of certain benefits, Brownback said, "Let's see what the Legislature puts forward on something like that."

Asked to comment on a Senate committee rejection of his reading initiative, he said he understood it was an emotional subject and that the discussion will continue. The Senate Education Committee defeated Brownback's proposal that would have required schools to hold back students in the third grade if they scored in the bottom performance level on the state's reading test.

On another issue, Brownback expressed support for establishing an adult stem cell center at Kansas University Medical Center.

"Having an adult stem cell center is not only highly plausible, it's being done and used in many places around the world," he said. "If Kansas could take a leadership position in that, it could be a highly useful thing for people to get treatments. There are number of different maladies now being treated by noncontroversial stem cell treatments," he said.

He added, "Let's see what develops in the process and in the bill." The bill would prohibit the center from using embryonic stem cells or cells taken from aborted fetal tissue.


Greg Cooper 5 years, 2 months ago

"... see what gets to me..." Brownback said.

English translation: "I have not gotten my traveling orders from Chuck and the Gang. Ask me after they tell me what to say."

This guy has not an ounce of his own sense, and he is "leading" the state?

Would be quite a belly laugh if it were not so tragic.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Brownback knows his positions. He is pretending to be pondering the issues however we must consider Brownback is the one pushing all of these issues and brought them to the table.

THE privatization of medicaid plan will not contain costs. Not so long as the medical insurance industry is involved. Brownback is all about corporate welfare.

I speculate Sam Brownback is lying to the citizens.

Larry Sturm 5 years, 2 months ago

Brownback is anti government but he wants to be president. (What a laugh).

Katara 5 years, 2 months ago

"We have a lot of pressures on the state budget that are significant," he said. He mentioned a court order to increase school funding, an at-capacity prison system and what he described as high demand for spending on public universities."

But Governor, you promised that the state will have an awesome economy since you eliminated incomes taxes on businesses and have lowered the personal income tax rate. Wealthy folks and successful businesses are going to flock to our state because of it and they will invest mightily and there will be job creation for all.

With such a positive outcome promised by you due to the tax changes you signed into law, why are you so concerned about costs? We'll have so much money we won't know what to do with it all!

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

That whole "but the feds might not give us moneeeey" complaint is BS. If the feds stop funding it, you stop the expansion. You're not obligated to stay in the program. I don't know if he's trying to stall for time and accept at the last minute or stall for time and reject at the last minute. Probably depends on which palm has the most grease.

I also wish he'd quit complaining that his foot hurts so much just after we saw him shoot it. If you were worried about the budget, then maybe you ought not cut it by a third and push for even more cuts. Because, math.

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