© 2023 KRCU Public Radio
90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Republican Medicaid Bill Passes House Committee

J.L. Johnson

A Missouri House committee has passed the Republicans’ alternative to the Medicaid expansion being sought by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

The measure would expand coverage to 180,000 Missourians while removing 44,000 children from the Medicaid rolls.  It would allow private insurers to compete to provide coverage for Medicaid recipients, and use cash bonuses to motivate recipients to maintain good health and avoid costly medical procedures. 

The sponsor, Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), says the only kids that would be removed are those whose parents have private health insurance or who would qualify for coverage under the federal health exchange.

“So every child in the state of Missouri under 300 percent of the federal poverty level will have access to affordable insurance through their parents,” Barnes said.

Democrat Kevin McManus of Kansas City sponsored an amendment that would have adopted the governor’s Medicaid expansion proposal, expanding it to 138 percent of the federal poverty level as called for by the Obama Administration.

“I think the (federal) government, as well as the folks who have testified for this bill, have made it abundantly clear that we need to raise the eligibility standard in order to get those matching funds,” McManus said.

The amendment was voted down before the bill as a whole was approved by a 7 to 2 vote.  However, one of the “no” votes came from Republican Mark Parkinson of St. Charles, who equated the alternate proposal to, being the same as “Obamacare.”  

Representative Barnes said he doesn’t know yet if House leaders will even take up his bill before the regular session ends next month.