The legislative leader spearheading an effort to pass a GOP plan for expanding Medicaid in Kansas has drafted a proposal that would raise tobacco taxes and that does not include a work requirement for program participants.

The proposal outlined Monday by Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning differs significantly from an expansion plan backed by Gov. Laura Kelly and fellow Democrats. It includes provisions designed to keep some working-class Kansans in private health plans rather than providing them with state Medicaid coverage.

The tax on a pack of cigarettes would rise by $1, to $2.29.

The Senate’s GOP leaders blocked Medicaid expansion earlier this year but pledged to draft a Republican alternative. Denning provided details in an interview and a legislative committee was set to review them Tuesday and Wednesday.

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