Medicaid | St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

The director of Missouri's Medicaid health care program is out of a job.

Ian McCaslin confirmed to The Associated Press that as of Tuesday, he is no longer the director of the MoHealthNet Division of the Department of Social Services.

McCaslin declined to say whether he resigned or was dismissed by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

A Nixon spokesman had not responded Tuesday to questions about McCaslin's departure. A department spokeswoman also had no immediate response. 

flickr/Talk Radio News Service

David Axelrod, the former senior advisor to President Obama spoke at Webster University Friday, speaking on a variety of topics, including the Affordable Care Act.

Axelrod was a key advisor to the president during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Axelrod used his time to take a swipe at states (like Missouri) doing their best to not implement parts of the law.

“There are still many snipers on rooftops trying to make it not work, in the form of Governors and Congressmen," Axelrod said. "But I think it’s important for the country that it succeeds.”

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has formally rejected the Senate version of the state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations over the state’s spending plan for next year.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

An alternate Medicaid expansion bill that contained some reforms sought by Missouri House Republicans is all but dead this year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 crammed into the Rotunda of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday to hear Governor Jay Nixon (D) call for expanding Medicaid to an additional 300,000 residents, nearly 260,000 of them by next year.

He told the crowd that the people he wants to add are those with low-paying jobs that don’t include health coverage.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senate Republicans were visited Tuesday by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

As he did last week with House Republicans, Nixon pitched his proposal to expand Medicaid to an additional 260,000 Missourians next year.  He told reporters afterwards that it went well, and that much of the discussion focused on the alternate Medicaid package moving through the Missouri House.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics. This week, however, Chris is out on vacation - so St. Louis Public Radio's Missouri Statehouse reporter joins us. 

 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee has passed the Republicans’ alternative to the Medicaid expansion being sought by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says it’s possible that he could support the House Republicans’ alternate Medicaid proposal, if some crucial changes are made.

He met with the GOP caucus today to discuss his Medicaid expansion proposal and their plans to reform the system.  Nixon told reporters afterwards that any proposal still needs to expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,500 for a family of four.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the State House.

While Medicaid expansion has dominated most of the debate, spending hikes were approved in other areas.  There’s an extra $65 million for K-12 schools, although the increase still falls short of fully funding the state’s public school formula.  Republican Mike Lair of Livingston County chairs the Appropriations committee on Education.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to the state budget for Fiscal Year 2014, while House Republicans beat back three attempts to expand Medicaid.

Medicaid expansion motions and amendments

A GOP plan for Medicaid expansion in the Missouri House would add fewer adults to the plan than the one Governor Jay Nixon has proposed. But during a stop in Kirkwood Tuesday, the Democrat praised the progress in the Republican-controlled House.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states have to expand the Medicaid requirement to 138 percent of the poverty line in order to accept the federal funds that go with it.

Currently in Missouri, those making an income of less than $4,5000 a year for a family of four qualify.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.

The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that.  Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters and opponents spent several hours Monday testifying on an alternate Medicaid proposal being floated by House Republicans.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: William Shortall is among 50,000 Missourians who are in a bind because they don't have sufficient insurance to cover treatment for their mental health problems.

“Approximately five years ago, I was diagnosed with a mental illness, bipolar disorder,” he said. Shortal's plight isn’t unusual, pointing to federal data showing that about one in four Americans is coping with some form of mental illness. Most don’t get timely help, he says, because they lack health insurance.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The working poor in Missouri are desperately in need of affordable healthcare.  

That was the message at a rally Monday evening organized by members of Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU).

From the steps of St. John’s United Church of Christ in St. Louis City, speaker after speaker called on lawmakers to take advantage of federal money to expand Medicaid coverage.

“It’s the right thing to do," said Barbara Paulus, an organizer with the religious coalition.  "It’s good for the Missouri economy.  But, most importantly, people have a right to healthcare.” 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Spring break has arrived for Missouri lawmakers, as they take a week off before returning to Jefferson City on March 25th.

They’ll have plenty of items on their plate when they get back -- among the House’s priorities is debating and voting on the state budget, which still does not include Medicaid expansion. Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) says the federal health care law does not require states to add more people to the Medicaid rolls.

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

A Republican-led Missouri Senate committee has defeated a plan to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the legislation on a party-line vote Wednesday, just minutes after hearing testimony from more than two dozen witnesses in favor of the plan.

A Republican-led House committee defeated a similar bill last month in the same fashion.

Mo. Senate

The leader of the Missouri Senate is denying reports from some conservative bloggers that top Republicans are planning an about-face on Medicaid expansion.

In particular, Red State published a report Monday that President Pro-tem Tom Dempsey (R, St. Charles) and Senator Mike Parson (R, Bolivar) were backing a so-called “shell bill” that would be used to add Medicaid expansion to next year’s state budget.  Dempsey denies that report.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is using a new tactic in an attempt to persuade Republican state lawmakers to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid: public safety.

On Monday, Nixon brought out St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, who said expanding Medicaid to another 50,000 Missourians who need mental health treatment will improve public safety.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Will be updated.

An expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is one step closer in Illinois.

The state Senate passed the expansion 40-19 on Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.

Nearly 2.8 million Illinois residents are currently covered by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor and disabled.

Starting in 2014, an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 uninsured Illinois residents would be newly eligible for coverage. The expansion would mainly benefit low-income adults who don't have children at home.

Missouri Republicans Outline 'Commonsense Conservative' Medicaid Alternative

Feb 26, 2013
Mo. House Communications

A long-promised Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion was filed today in the Missouri House.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid expansion is dead for now in the Missouri House.

First, the House subcommittee that oversees the budgets for the Departments of Health, Mental Health and Social Services voted to approve those agencies budgets without including Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) call to expand Medicaid to an additional 259,000 Missourians next yearState Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) chairs that subcommittee.

“We can’t afford it…it’s not rocket science," Allen said.  "If we expand, taking federal dollars now, which I do not believe would not use some state (general revenue), even with what we’re told the feds would do now, there will be a time (when) the feds will back off.”

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

More than 135,000 high-cost Illinois patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid will be assigned to a managed care health plan by early next year, if they don't opt out of a new program to coordinate their care.

The initiative is a partnership between Illinois and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Illinois is the fourth state to get approval for such a demonstration project, aimed at providing better care at lower costs for a group of patients known as "dual eligibles." The federal agency announced its approval Friday.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon hasn’t stopped advocating for Missouri to accept the federal government’s money for Medicaid expansion, in spite of state Republican lawmakers leaving it out of their proposed budget.

Nixon lobbied in St. Charles Wednesday for the state to accept $900 million to expand the program to over a quarter of a million low income adults.

Nixon has appealed throughout the state. What makes Nixon’s stop in St. Charles unique is that the area is typically conservative turf.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House Democrats are sponsoring legislation to expand Medicaid in Missouri, despite the fact that the state budget filed by Republicans leaves out the proposed expansion.

House Bill 627 would expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Missourians, and House Democrats say not passing it would cost the state 5,000 jobs and could force some rural hospitals to close their doors.  Kerry Noble is CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in the Missouri Boot-heal.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The 13 bills that make up the state budget have been filed in the Missouri House, and they don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed Medicaid expansion.

That part of the Governor’s budget proposal would have drawn down $908 million in federal funds for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins July 1st.  House Budget Chair Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says as a result, the Governor’s projected $46 million in savings is also being removed from the budget.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

 

Updated at 5:45 a.m. to include feature story on the Governor's State of the State Address by Marshall Griffin.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) pitched a $25.7 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, Higher Education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the Governor’s speech and his proposed spending plan for next year:

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri legislature convenes this Wednesday.

The hallmark issue may be Medicaid expansion.  Topics of tax credits and arming classroom teachers are also expected to come up for debate.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Beacon political reporter Jo Mannies, and University of Missouri – St. Louis political science professor Terry Jones about the upcoming session.

via Flickr/yomanimus

A conservative group is calling on Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Missouri lawmakers to return any budget surplus there may be next year to taxpayers.

Nixon and GOP legislative leaders are expecting a 3.1 percent growth in state revenues during the next fiscal year.  Patrick Werner heads the Missouri Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which advocates for fiscally conservative practices.  He says any left over money should either be returned to taxpayers or socked away in the state’s Rainy Day fund.

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