Health Care Checkup: Medicaid Plan Defeated In Committee, Nixon Pushes On

Rep. Jay Barnes (right) introduced a “market-based” plan for Medicaid expansion after Republicans defeated Gov. Jay Nixon’s Medicaid expansion plan in committee. | Photo from” credit=” 

The Health Care Checkup is a rundown of the state’s top health care headlines from the last week.

Republican opposition downs Nixon’s Medicaid expansion, suggests “market-based” plan

A Missouri House committee on Feb. 26 rejected a Medicaid expansion plan supported by leading Democrats, including Gov. Jay Nixon. The expansion bill’s defeat in committee means the Democrats’ proposal in the House is effectively dead.

Rep. Jay Barnes, a key Republican leader in the Missouri House, introduced an alternative “market-based Medicaid” expansion plan that would cover some — mostly childless adults — while pushing others to subsidized private insurance.

The same House committee that killed the expansion bill still supports increased funds for mental health.

As businesses back Medicaid, Post-Dispatch criticizes rejection of expansion

Despite rejection of Medicaid expansion in the House, the list of businesses supporting expansion has grown.

In an editorial published Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch criticized lawmakers for their rejection of the governor’s plan, saying the Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion showed a “fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be poor.”

In the face of continued Republican opposition, Gov. Nixon once again hit the trail to promote Medicaid expansion.

Viability of exchanges could hinge on small businesses, young people

Federal and state health insurance exchanges will open up this fall. The exchanges, a key component of President Barack Obama’s goal for all Americans have access to health care, are reliant on high participation. But there’s some question whether enough young and healthy Americans and small employers will purchase health insurance to make health premiums universally affordable.

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