Missouri House set to vote on billion-dollar budget without funding Medicaid expansion

Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After Republican Missouri lawmakers on the House Budget Committee voted against funding Medicaid expansion last Thursday, Democrats said they aren’t done fighting.

The voter-approved measure would allow around 275,000 additional Missourians to become eligible for Medicaid.

The House is expected to debate the state’s nearly $35 billion budget starting Tuesday. Originally, the bill included $1.6 billion for expansion with the state portion only totaling around $119 million with the rest coming from the federal government.

“That’s 90% of the expansion comes from the federal government. That’s more than $1.4 billion that House Republicans don’t want pumped into Missouri’s economy,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) said.

Some Republicans on the House Budget Committee said they were concerned about the funding going towards people with mental and physical disabilities. Democrats said the expansion is happening whether they fund it or not.

“If somebody that’s eligible by the income threshold by the Constitution now applies as of July 1, they will be entitled under the Constitution to Medicaid, so any shortfall that we’re doing in the budget isn’t just going to tell them they can’t get Medicaid, it’s going to be shorting the entire Medicaid system as a whole,” Rep. Peter Merideth (D-St. Louis) said. “We’re just underfunding our health care system as a whole.”

All 20 Republicans on the House Budget Committee voted against the expansion Thursday. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage), said he’s concerned this expansion would help Missourians who don’t want to work.

“By standing up to liberal interest groups, House Republicans have saved Missourians over $100 million in General Revenue in the upcoming fiscal year alone, and billions more in years to come,” Smith said Friday. “Missouri voters will get to decide whether to expand Medicaid health care coverage to thousands of low-income adults.”

Gov. Mike Parson recommended funding the expansion in his budget during his State of the State address. Fifty-three percent of voters approved the expansion in August.

Quade is concerned lawmakers will be forced to return later this year for a special session to implement a supplemental budget to fund the expansion.

After Republicans on the budget committee failed to pass the legislation to fund the expansion Thursday, Smith filed another bill Friday, House Bill 21, to use the money for expansion and put it towards seniors in nursing homes, add public defenders to the criminal justice system and help K-12 school transportation.

“In short, this bill will support the most vulnerable Missourians,” Smith said.

Expanded eligibility goes into effect July 1 for those earning less than $17,600 for an individual or $30,000 for a family of three. Missouri became the 37th state to expand Medicaid.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News

Tweets from reporters: