Politically Speaking: Medicaid Expert Tim McBride On Dollars And Cents Of Expanding Health Care | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: Medicaid Expert Tim McBride On Dollars And Cents Of Expanding Health Care

Oct 8, 2019

Tim McBride is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The Washington University professor talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll about the prospect of Medicaid expansion.

McBride headed the board that oversaw Missouri’s Medicaid program until he was replaced earlier this year. At Wash U, he focuses on health care policy. 

Here’s what McBride talked about during the show:

  • He recently helped conduct a study of the potential costs and savings of expanding Medicaid. A number of key interest groups, including the state’s hospital association, are backing a 2020 ballot initiative calling for expanding the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly. The study was commissioned by the Missouri Foundation for Health, a nonprofit that examines health care policy throughout the state.
  • Among other things, McBride’s study found that Medicaid expansion could ultimately save the state money, since Missouri would pay less for some people who are currently enrolled in the program.
  • He responded to arguments from some Medicaid expansion opponents that such a move would be too costly for the state.
  • McBride discussed the enrollment decline in the state’s Medicaid program, which has lost roughly 120,000 people since the beginning of 2018. Many of the people who have lost coverage are children.

If the Medicaid proposal is approved by voters, Missouri would expand the health insurance program for those who earn up to $18,000 a year. A group promoting the initiative has received roughly $2.2 million in donations over $5,000 in 2019—including $250,000 from BJC Healthcare and tens of thousands of dollars more from politically active nonprofits that don’t disclose their donors.

The Missouri House subcommittee on health care reform is holding a hearing today on the state Medicaid’s program.

The podcast is sponsored by the St. Louis-based law firm of Capes Sokol

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue 

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Tim McBride on Twitter: @mcbridetd

Music: “Changes” by David Bowie