Medicaid expansion | St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid expansion

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 13, 2010 - As Congress seeks to reach consensus on a bill to provide health insurance for everyone, state lawmakers are turning their attention to the price tag. The good news is that the federal government is expected to pick up as much of 95 percent of the cost of whatever legislation is enacted and that states would have up to three years after the law takes effect before they start picking up their part of the tab.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 31, 2009 - In an election year, the Missouri Legislature often finds its focus split between policy and politics. This coming session is shaping up to fit that mold, with bipartisan concerns over the state's budget problems expected to share floor time with potentially partisan posturing over political ethics.

Gov. Jay Nixon jumped into the fray this week over ethics, when he became the latest in a growing list of officials in both parties to offer proposals aimed at curbing what both sides agree is a growing public perception that some state lawmakers have been behaving badly, professionally or personally.

What to do about health care? Make it affordable

Nov 1, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 1, 2009 - Every year, America's employers and employees pay millions of dollars to insurance companies, and patients incur significant out of pocket health-care costs. Yet, despite this significant cost, and even with a wealth of medical providers and technology, millions of Americans and more than 746,000 Missourians remain uninsured. Even more are unable to pay for needed medical care. And everyday this costly system excludes even more individuals.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 20, 2009 - When Jay Nixon stopped by a Columbia residence in November 2007, he wasn't shy about talking about expanding the state's Medicaid program.

At the time, Nixon, the longtime attorney general, was seeking to oust then-Gov. Matt Blunt from office. He opposed the Republican governor's decision to cut back the state's Medicaid eligibility.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 7, 2009 - In the past two weeks, Gov. Jay Nixon has collected $72,500 in large donations of $10,000 apiece or more from six health care firms -- most of them insurance companies.

The largest is $25,000 donated on Sept. 23 by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2009 - The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's approval Friday of a bill overhauling the nation's health-care system reinforced the hopes and fears of Missouri's political players on both sides of the debate.

The action also highlights the differences between states like Missouri, which have low eligibility limits for low-income people seeking health-care assistance, and more generous states like Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 16, 2009 - One of Dwayne Butler’s proudest moments as CEO at People’s Health Centers in St. Louis came on the morning of March 9 when he joined Gov. Jay Nixon in announcing what they described as a win-win way to expand health insurance for Missouri’s needy and unemployed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 11, 2009 - St. Charles County is the best place in Missouri to raise a kid. The worst place? Once again, it's St. Louis.

Those rankings come from the latest Kids Count report from Citizens for Missouri's Children.

Across the state, the recession and other factors have led to more poverty, less access to health care and fewer educational opportunities for children, the report says.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 7, 2009 - To get a budget passed by Friday's constitutional deadline, the Missouri Legislature has taken action that appears to put off until next week a final battle over warring efforts to expand access to health care.

But all sides are pessimistic, saying there's not much hope for Gov. Jay Nixon's plan that called for expanding state health care coverage to 35,000 Missouri adults at no cost to state taxpayers. The Missouri Hospital Association and several business groups backed that plan, which called for the hospitals to pay higher fees to the state, which would be used as matching money for more federal health-care dollars.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 2, 2009 - If Missouri does not take full advantage of stimulus money available from Washington, thousands of Missourians will be hurt directly and many more will suffer indirect harm as well, budget analysts said Thursday.

Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, said that because a budget bill passed by the Missouri House fails to take full advantage of money available for Medicaid, more people will be hurt than just those who need the help with health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 1, 2009 - In recent days, a crack seems to be developing in Missouri Republican ranks over two of the biggest issues facing the Legislature:

--Gov. Jay Nixon's repeated efforts to restore Medicaid coverage to some of the tens of thousands who were dropped off the rolls in 2005, in part with the cooperation of the state's hospitals.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 31, 2009 - Notwithstanding stiff GOP opposition in Jefferson City, Gov. Jay Nixon continues to pursue his campaign promise to expand health coverage for Missouri's uninsured.

On Tuesday, his proposal picked up support from one of the state's most influential business groups, Associated Industries of Missouri. It endorsed the plan at a press conference with Nixon at Boeing Co., in north St. Louis County.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 12, 2009 - Missouri's battle over Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to expand healthcare coverage has led to sparring over this week's hospitalization of a former aide who's now a legislator, state Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia.

Her explanatory e-mail, and one sent in response by state Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles, are now fueling a lot of Web debate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 9, 2009 - With his key health-care initiative stalled in the Missouri Legislature, Gov. Jay Nixon is turning to other approaches to expanding health insurance to the needy and unemployed.

On Monday, he appeared in several cities across the state to announce what he says is a landmark agreement that will bring health care to nearly 35,000 parents at no increased cost to the public.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 7, 2009 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to take another stab at expanding health-care access on Monday when he unveils a plan that, according to the talk circulating at Democrat Days, involves increasing hospital payments into the federal reimbursement allowance program.

Initially set up in 1991, the program is basically an assessment on Missouri hospitals, with the money used to collect federal Medicaid dollars -- which often are doled out to states at roughly a a three-to-one ratio.

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