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Kansas lawmakers give final approval to bill indefinitely extending ban on Medicaid expansion

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TOPEKA, Kansas — The Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature has passed a bill to keep a ban in place indefinitely on expanding the state's Medicaid program under the federal health care overhaul.

The House approved the measure Friday on a 68-54 vote, sending it to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. The Senate approved the bill last month.

A ban included in budget legislation last year is set to expire in July 2015.

Medicaid provides health coverage for the needy and disabled. Supporters note an expansion would help thousands of poor, working Kansans and that the federal government has promised to pick up most of the cost.

GOP lawmakers see the 2010 federal health care law championed by Democratic President Barack Obama as burdensome. They're also skeptical that the federal government will keep its funding promise.

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