Medicaid expansion | St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid expansion

Ryan White, the Indiana teenager who, after contracting AIDS at age 13, advocated for a more considered approach to those facing AIDS-related illnesses.
(via Wikimedia Commons/Wildhartlivie)

The centerpiece of the federal government’s war against HIV/AIDS bears the name Ryan White.  

The public might not remember him without a little context. A hemophiliac who was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13, White drew international attention when he not only had to cope with the disease but also had to wage a legal fight to attend school with his classmates in Kokomo, Ind.,  following his diagnosis. He died in 1984 at the age of 18 after becoming a poster child for more compassion, counseling and medical care for those facing AIDS-related illnesses.

(via Flickr / jimbowen0306)

The next session of the Missouri Legislature opens Wednesday, January 8, and with it an uptick in political activity in the state.

Terry Jones, Founders’ Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis joined St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum in studio with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what to expect during the 2014 session.

Among the issues to keep an eye on this session will be the school transfer issue, Medicaid expansion and transportation tax.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 9, 2013 - The Missouri Chamber, which publicly has blasted the Affordable Care Act, has nonetheless come out with its strongest statement to date this week in favor of expanding the state's Medicaid rolls, as recommended by the law.

The chamber, the state's largest business group, notes that Missouri is among the top states losing out on the federal money involved – and says that the state’s businesses and hospitals will suffer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - After months of lying low on the topic of Medicaid expansion, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appears to be resurrecting the issue with Tuesday's invitation to General Assembly leaders to join him “for a discussion about reforming our state’s health-care system to provide better outcomes for patients and better returns for taxpayers.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 5, 2013 - After months of lying low on the topic of Medicaid expansion, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appears to be resurrecting the issue with Tuesday's invitation to General Assembly leaders to join him “for a discussion about reforming our state’s health-care system to provide better outcomes for patients and better returns for taxpayers.”

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Only months after closing its specialty clinics, ConnectCare informed workers on Friday that it was eliminating the rest of its services on Nov. 15. The results will be a huge hole in the region’s medical safety net, officials say, noting that the urgent care center was on track to handle medical visits to about 17,000 patients.

Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 22, 2013: By Missouri’s refusal to expand its Medicaid program, more than 193,000 adults in the state will find themselves stuck in a coverage gap, come Jan. 1.

These are uninsured adults  who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to be eligible for the government subsidies that discount the price of private health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2013 - Missouri could lose $8 billion in federal funding during the first six years of health reform if state lawmakers continue to refuse to expand Medicaid to insure more of the needy, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She spoke during a stop in St. Louis for a meeting with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, County Executive Charlie Dooley, health leaders and others working to help prepare consumers for the reform law’s insurance exchange marketplace, which opens for business on Oct. 1.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in St. Louis on Thursday to talk about the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius met with city and county officials and representatives of the local healthcare community in a closed-door session at St. Louis City Hall.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Sebelius said as of October 1, Missourians will be able to purchase health insurance through a new online marketplace.

Sebelius said many of Missouri's 800,000 uninsured will be able to get coverage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 19, 2013 - An uninsured parent of two children would have to bring home less than $9.59 a day to qualify for Medicaid in Missouri, the federal-state insurance program for the needy.

"This precludes almost all working adults from Medicaid eligibility in Missouri,” says a study, titled A View of Two Missouris, released Tuesday by the Missouri Hospital Association.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 3, 2013 - The reduction of health programs at ConnectCare will go beyond important specialty medical services and will extend to the crucial transportation network that has made it possible for some patients to get treatment at the site at 5535 Delmar Blvd.

Health planners said they will be scrambling to figure out which medical systems can provide specialty care to the more than 10,000 patients being displaced by ConnectCare’s decision. The planners promise to find transportation to alternative facilities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 14, 2013: One by one they came to sit in front of the special House committee to deliver their three-minute remarks. Most had same message: Expand Missouri’s Medicaid program.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2013 - In an unusual display of political bipartisanship, some members of the Missouri delegation in Congress have joined forces to urge the federal government to continue funding a health program that was begun as a placeholder for expanding Medicaid.

The program is Gateway to Better Health, which provides basic medical insurance to 25,000 area residents, including 21,000 who eventually had been expected to be enrolled in an expanded Medicaid program in Missouri. Coordinated by the Regional Health Commission, the Gateway program was supposed to end on Dec. 31, when Medicaid expansion took effect.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In an unusual display of political bipartisanship, some members of the Missouri delegation in Congress have joined forces to urge the federal government to continue funding a health program that was begun as a placeholder for expanding Medicaid.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was “hopeful” that House and Senate committees studying changes to the state’s Medicaid program would result in legislative action next year.

The two chambers are holding hearings this summer on the health-care program for the poor. The Senate committee held hearings in Jefferson City, while another House committee is set to convene tomorrow in Independence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2013 - Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was “hopeful” that House and Senate committees studying changes to the state’s Medicaid program would result in legislative action next year.

The two chambers are holding hearings this summer on the health-care program for the poor. The Senate committee held hearings in Jefferson City, while another House committee is set to convene tomorrow in Independence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 11, 2013 - The Missouri legislature closed its 2013 legislative session without resolving what was likely the most important question facing it: whether to adopt the proposal put forward by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, to expand the Medicaid program to a projected 260,000 uninsured people in Missouri.  While a bipartisan solution did not pass, the legislature appointed a committee to consider this question further. Recent signals suggest that a compromise solution could be found in the 2014 session.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri legislature closed its 2013 legislative session without resolving what was likely the most important question facing it: whether to adopt the proposal put forward by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, to expand the Medicaid program to a projected 260,000 uninsured people in Missouri.  While a bipartisan solution did not pass, the legislature appointed a committee to consider this question further. Recent signals suggest that a compromise solution could be found in the 2014 session.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 28, 2013: St. Louis and St. Louis County started a promising pilot program last year to extend medical care to more of their working poor. Called Gateway to Better Health, the program offered the uninsured the chance to trade costly emergency room health care for a better-coordinated system that links people to medical providers at health centers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 21, 2013: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has sent a letter today to like-minded groups that support the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, saying that he plans to continue efforts “to bring the dollars Missourians send to Washington back to strengthen Medicaid in Missouri…”

Nixon's letter comes a day after the state's Department of Social Service chief, Alan Freeman, announced he is stepping down. Last week, the official in charge of the state's Medicaid program also quit.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 18, 2013 - With the exception of its laser focus on gun rights, the 97th session of the Missouri General Assembly that ended at 6 p.m. Friday pretty much reflected the recent tradition: The Republican majority portrayed it an “immense success,’’ the Democrats called it an extremist failure and Gov. Jay Nixon declined to say.

Speaker Tim Jones and Majority Leader John Diehl confer during session's final hours
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With the exception of its laser focus on gun rights, the 97th session of the Missouri General Assembly that ended at 6 p.m. Friday pretty much reflected the recent tradition:

The Republican majority portrayed it an “immense success,’’ the Democrats called it an extremist failure and Gov. Jay Nixon declined to say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When the Missouri House convened Thursday, legislators looked up to see a spooky sight: a life-size human “body” lying atop the chamber’s huge skylight.

The “body” turned out to be a paper cutout placed on the roof as a joke.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 30, 2013 - Save it, spend it or give it back? That, in essence, is the growing debate in the Missouri Capitol as legislators are monitoring the state’s apparently improving income picture, which could result in a budget surplus when this fiscal year ends June 30.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 25, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon contended today that the state Senate was jeopardizing the public’s safety by cutting out $21 million in federal homeland security grants distributed to hundreds of local law enforcement agencies.

But the Republican senator responsible for the cut later accused the governor, a Democrat, of engaging in “sequester-type drama’’ to avoid dealing with the legislative disputes that prompted the Senate action.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 10, 2013 - While  enjoying a plate of gravy and biscuits at Feller’s Family Restaurant last Friday morning in Willow Springs, Mo., Johnny Morgan energized the breakfast conversation with examples of what he regards as unwarranted government intrusion into people’s lives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon,  April 10, 2013 - Amid legislative wrangling and uncertainty, the MoHealthNet Oversight Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday in support of expanding Medicaid.

The committee – which was set up in 2007 after lawmaker restructured the program – voted 8-2 with one abstention for a resolution “strongly encouraging the Missouri General Assembly and the governor to pass and sign enabling legislation in the 2013 session” expanding the program to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $26,000 a year for a family of three and $32,000 a year for a four-member family.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Amidst legislative wrangling and uncertainty, the MoHealthNet Oversight Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday in support of expanding Medicaid.

The committee – which was set up in 2007 after lawmaker restructured the program – voted 8-2 with one abstention for a resolution “strongly encouraging the Missouri General Assembly and the governor to pass and sign enabling legislation in the 2013 session” expanding the program to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $26,000 a year for a family of three and  $32,000 a year for a four-member family.

John Jones, Steve Foster and Johnny Morgan at Feller's Family Restaurant, Willow Springs, Mo.
Robert Joiner | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: While  enjoying a plate of gravy and biscuits at Feller’s Family Restaurant last Friday morning in Willow Springs, Mo., Johnny Morgan energized the breakfast conversation with examples of what he regards as unwarranted government intrusion into people’s lives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 9, 2013 -  State Sen. John Lamping emphasized on Monday that the Missouri Senate wouldn’t pass any Medicaid expansion in 2013, preferring instead to look to next year to resolve the issue.

And the Ladue Republican's assessment didn’t change after Gov. Jay Nixon spoke with the Senate Majority Caucus on Tuesday, a meeting roughly a week after he met with House Republicans.

Pages