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Missouri House Budget Chairman Cody Smith On The State Medicaid Expansion Battle

cody smith 2021
Tim Bommel
/
House Communications
State Rep. Cody Smith, center, is chairman of the House Budget Committee — which made the decision this week not to fund the expansion of Medicaid.

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, House Budget Chairman Cody Smith talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about this year’s budget process — which has drawn more attention than usual because of the battle over expanding Medicaid.

Smith represents Missouri’s 163rd District, which takes in parts of Jasper County. The Carthage Republican has served as chairman of the powerful Budget Committee since the 2019 legislative session.

Here’s what Smith talked about on the show:

  • Why his GOP colleagues declined to expand Medicaid under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act. He answered questions about whether the move runs counter to a constitutional amendment that passed last year expanding the health care program.
  • Whether the state portion of Medicaid expansion could essentially be paid for a lengthy period of time through federal American Rescue Plan funding.
  • Whether a direct funding source could be found to pay for Medicaid expansion if cost savings don’t materialize and after American Rescue Plan funding runs out.
  • A measure he’s handling that would tie Missouri’s minimum wage to the federal minimum wage.

Smith was first elected to the Missouri House in 2016, and reelected to his post in 2018 and 2020. His GOP-leaning district includes Carthage, Carl Junction, Oronogo and Webb City.

In addition to his legislative duties, Smith is the owner of a company that seeks to prevent disease from spreading in health care facilities.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Cody Smith on Twitter: @cody4mo

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Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.