Missouri lawmakers and organizations pushing for Medicaid expansion

Ozarks Politics

Mo. — Missouri’s budget director says Medicaid expansion will not be apart of a state presentation tomorrow, Feb. 10.

Despite not being a part of the presentation, lawmakers and organizations around the state are pushing for expansion in the next election.

A Medicaid expansion would require lawmakers to make changes to the budget.

The current projection for Medicaid will cover those people who are already eligible for Medicaid in Missouri which includes kids, seniors, and people with disabilities.

To be eligible as a parent, you have to have excessively low-income.

Governor Mike Parson made it clear in his speech last month that Medicaid expansion is not a priority.

“The Republicans have made it very apparent that here in Jefferson City they’re not going to pass expansion through legislation, that’s why we’re seeing the citizens themselves going through initiative petition to get to a vote of the people to try to get it done,” Representative Crystal Quade said.

“The reason we’re in the good shape we are we’re being accountable and fiscally responsible,” Governor Parson said. “I don’t think expanding government programs is always the answer.”

The Missouri Budget Project, a non-profit, believes this is an important and necessary expansion, even after Governor Parson disagreed in his state of the state speech last month.

“Right now, these hardworking Missourians are having to choose between putting food on the table or being able to see a doctor, that’s really what the choice is about,” said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for Healthcare for Missouri.

House Speaker Elijah Haahr and House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith oppose the Medicaid expansion. They say it would take money from education. Representative Quade disagrees.

“They keep going back to the fact that it’s just going to cost a whole bunch of money, but I will say that there are multiple studies that have confirmed now that expanding Medicaid will actually save the state money,” said Rep. Quade.

Missourians will have a chance to be the 37 state to expand Medicaid in the upcoming November election.

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