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State agency says health overhaul will cost less than GOP leaders claim

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Republicans are continuing to sound alarms about the potential cost of federal health care legislation.

Some GOP officials claim a mandatory Medicaid expansion could cost Missouri $250 million a year. Others put the tab at $450 million. Still another estimates it will cost the state nearly $1 billion. But some of their rhetoric may exceed reality.

The Missouri Department of Social Services - which oversees the Medicaid health care program for the poor - said Missouri's cost of the proposed expansion could be closer to $100 million. And even that may not hit until 2017.

The U.S. House and Senate each have passed separate versions of the health care legislation. Another vote is needed by each chamber for a final version to go to President Barack Obama.

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