Agreements are percolating in the General Assembly that would allow piecemeal expansions of Medicaid in Missouri, the largest being the restoration of dental coverage for 300,000 low-income adults whose benefits were cut in 2005. Coverage for rehabilitative therapy also might be reinstated.
There’s also a chance lawmakers will let elderly and disabled people stockpile small nest eggs without losing their Medicaid coverage, a change that could add 8,174 adults to the rolls. And liberals and conservatives alike back a bill covering more pregnant women by including “unborn children” in the state Children’s Health Insurance Program, an arm of Medicaid. An estimated 1,844 women could gain prenatal services.
Legislators pushing the piecemeal additions include Sen. Rob Schaaf, a physician and one of the staunchest opponents to the federal Affordable Care Act’s blanket Medicaid expansion. He portrays the changes as reforms that would save taxpayers money by decreasing emergency room use.