Medicaid

(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.

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.

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