The Missouri Chamber of Commerce endorsed a new Medicaid expansion proposal that the business group contends could allow Missouri to take advantage of the $2 billion a year in federal subsidies that the state currently has declined to accept.
The chamber says the proposal, filed by state Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, would increase the state’s eligibility standards for Medicaid to cover working adults who earn less than the federal poverty level, which now is $11,670 a year for a single person. Missouri currently only provides Medicaid coverage to adults who earn no more than 19 percent of the federal poverty level.
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has for more than a year pressed the Republican-controlled General Assembly to approve the Medicaid expansion. But so far, Republicans have objected to the idea, on fiscal and philosophical grounds. Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan said Missouri’s failure to expand Medicaid is hurting businesses.