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.
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.
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.
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.
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.