Missouri Legislators Promise To Block Medicaid Expansion

Caduceus, a symbol of medicine and health care | Photo by Nicole Lunger
Photo by Nicole Lunger

Two Republicans serving on committees examining Medicaid reform options for the state legislature predicted the General Assembly will not pass expansion legislation in the upcoming session. Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph promised to “stand and filibuster expansion of Medicaid until I can’t stand any longer,” Rep. Noel Torpey of Independence, and the vice-chair of the House Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation, said expansion faces obstacles in an election year.

Schaaf and Torpey addressed about 35 people who gathered at a restaurant in southern Moberly for a country-style buffet dinner hosted by the Randolph County Pachyderms Club. Most witnesses speaking at hearings on the Medicaid system have voiced support for an expansion that would insure as many as 200,000 Missouri residents in a “coverage gap.” Expanded coverage would be fully funded by the federal government until 2016, when the state begins to gradually pick up a share of the costs, up to 10 percent.The Missouri General Assembly debated but did not pass expansion legislation last session.

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