Missouri Medicaid debate focuses on financing, flexibility

As the fight over health care dominates discussion in Washington, a quieter debate is taking shape in the Missouri General Assembly that could fundamentally alter the way health care is delivered to the state’s most disadvantaged residents.

State lawmakers have placed Medicaid funding in the crosshairs. Earlier this year, Gov. Eric Greitens targeted benefits for the elderly and disabled but cut other areas, such as higher education and K-12 school transportation.

One solution being strongly considered by some Republicans would radically alter the way Medicaid is funded in Missouri. Proponents say it would give the state more control over costs. Opponents say it would result in cutting crucial medical services and programs.

Missouri is one of 19 states in the country that refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA, also known as “Obamacare”, and many Republicans in the General Assembly speak harshly of the policy. On the campaign trail and after the election, Greitens blamed the ACA for contributing to Missouri’s budget crisis.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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