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.
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.
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.