Health Care Checkup

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

Compromise on Medicaid expansion possible but not reflected in latest approved budget proposal

Missouri Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville, told about 25 people at a gathering last month that compromise is a possibility regarding Medicaid expansion.

A Republican-backed plan to reform Missouri’s Medicaid program received support last week from groups that have been backing a broader expansion outlined in the federal Affordable Care Act. Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, proposed an alternative that would set income eligibility at the federal poverty level, as opposed to the higher amount detailed in the expansion laid out by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Barnes’ proposal was not counted in the $25 billion budget plan that received its first-round approval from the House on March 26 after about six hours of debate that largely centered around Medicaid expansion. The budget now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate for consideration. The Legislature has until May 10 to adopt a final spending plan, which will take effect July 1.

Nixon last week suggested that the GOP version of the Medicaid bill will be “the vehicle” for future discussions about health care overhaul.

Study notes higher costs associated with federal health care expansion law

Missouri could see a 59 percent increase in the cost of medical claims for individual insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study conducted by the Society of Actuaries. The group projects Missouri’s cost increase would be the eighth highest nationally.

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