In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is calling all hands on deck to fix his state's huge self-imposed budget crisis, which nearly cost him re-election this year, and the staunch conservative is now receiving an assist from an unlikely source: Obamacare.

The state's well-documented budget troubles came after Brownback's dramatic reductions in taxes since taking office in 2011. With its revenue drying up and cash reserves depleted, Kansas is staring at a $280 million hole in its $6.4 billion FY 2015 budget, which ends in June.

Brownback offered his proposal for closing that hole last week, a mixture of spending cuts and transferring funds from other parts of the budget to fill it. And second biggest of those transfers is $55 million in revenue from a Medicaid drug rebate program that was bolstered under the Affordable Care Act.

The short version then is this: Obamacare is helping Kansas address its fiscal crisis -- even if Brownback's administration seems loath to admit it.

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While Republican senators were fuming at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for holding up a $1.1 trillion spending bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown, Democrats saw a silver lining: the move by Cruz and Lee gave Democrats an opening to move a number of President Barack Obama's nominees for federal judgeships and the executive branch.

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The government funding bill colloquially called the CRomnibus that the House passed on Thursday night included a GOP-proposed change to an Obamacare program long loathed by Republicans.

A House aide confirmed to TPM that Republican staffers requested the change to the so-called risk corridor program, which is designed to keep premiums stable by making payments to insurers if they lose more money than expected in the law's first few years.

Some health policy wonks picked up on the language, but it received negligible attention compared to the campaign finance and Dodd-Frank provisions that nearly derailed the spending bill in the House on Thursday night.

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