Koster Talks Medicaid, MO's Long-Term Issues In Springfield

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 04/23 2014 09:27PM

Updated 04/23 2014 10:31PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster spoke at a Springfield Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday afternoon and talked about some of the Show-Me State's biggest challenges.

One of Koster's main talking points: Medicaid expansion.

"This question has got to be answered and my hope is that we find a way forward to join this program."

Medicaid Expansion has the governor's support, and the backing of the Missouri Hospital Association, the state Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Chamber, too.

Koster said politics aside the $2 billion in federal dollars from Missouri that's going to other states, but could be coming back here, the estimated 24,000 jobs it could create and the 300,000 people it could insure are good reasons, he says, why expansion makes good economic sense.

"This is still one of the best economic development ideas that has been presented to the Missouri legislature in the last 25 years," he said. 

That's not the only money Koster said the state is missing because of inaction on the legislature's part.

Legislation that was passed in other states, but not Missouri, is costing $70 million out of the annual payment from a 1998 settlement with tobacco companies.

"We're going to end up paying the price for it through reduced cigarette payments through the state," Koster said.

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