TOPEKA - Members of the Kansas House of Representatives have approved a bill that would allow Kansas to join a compact of states seeking to exempt themselves from the federal health care overhaul.
The measure was approved 74-48 on Monday, sending the measure to the state Senate.
The compact would allow member states to set health care policy while retaining federal health care dollars, but only if Congress votes to approve the compact. The compact would allow participating states to exempt themselves from other federal rules in addition to the health overhaul's regulations.
The compact could have implications for some 450,000 Kansas residents who participate in the federal Medicare program.
Supporters say giving Kansas more control over Medicare would ultimately help senior citizens, while critics of the compact say residents could lose benefits and pay higher costs.