GOP Leader Estimates Savings In Missouri With Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Jay Barnes (right) was one of 10 legislators recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as Missouri's Best | Photo from
Rep. Jay Barnes (right) has presented Medicaid expansion as a cost-saving move for Missouri. | Photo from

Missouri could save $42 million a year once it expands and revamps Medicaid, the public health care program for the poor. Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, presented the fiscal study during a committee meeting and portrayed it as a starting point for discussion, not a bill he is ready to file.

Critics said the savings was hypothetical. Some also worried about increasing the federal debt. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay the Medicaid tab for the first three years for people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $32,500 for a family of four. States would pick up a share, ranging up to 10 percent, after that.

The Republican-led Missouri Legislature defeated the plan last spring, saying the program is broken and expansion isn’t financially sustainable. But the idea is expected to resurface in January. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and a coalition of business, health care and social welfare groups support the expansion.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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