Senate thwarts another Medicaid expansion attempt
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Senate thwarts another Medicaid expansion attempt

Date: April 23, 2013
By: Nick Thompson
State Capitol Bureau
Links: The rollcall and  HB11

The Missouri House and now the Senate have passed their versions of the state budget, but both do not include Governor Jay Nixon's highly touted Medicaid expansion.
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Wrap: Many Missouri Republicans have argued Washington will not be able to keep its promise to send billions of dollars to states to expand Medicaid.

Democrats have tried to address this concern in expansion plans by adding provisions to remove enrollees from the program if the federal government backs off its committment.

But Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer was quite candid about what kind of deal Jefferson City would get with Washington.

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Description: "It's like a drug dealer, maybe you get three years for free. Your exacerbating other problems, maybe not your state general revenue issue but the question is then your hooked. If we add 300,000 people to this program we're not gonna remove them in three years."
Senate Democrats tried to add the expansion to their version of the state budget, but the attempt failed and the issue appears to be dead in the current legislative session after months of debate.

Reporting from the state capitol, I'm Nick Thompson.

Missouri Senate Democrats made an unsuccessful final plea to add federal Medicaid expansion dollars to next year's state budget.
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Wrap: Democratic Senator Jolie Justus asked members of her chamber once again to consider the positive human impacts of expanding Medicaid in Missouri to cover more low-income adults.

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Description: "it's just the dignity and the human right to be able to get healthcare for yourself."

But Democrats failed to compel the chamber to accept nearly 900 million dollars in federal funds next year for the expansion.  

And under legislative rules, a lawmaker cannot add money into the budget that was not in either chamber's plan.

The House passed its budget already without the expansion and a Republican representative forfeited his plans to make changes to the program. 

So some supporters might start sounding like Cubs fans, as its likely they'll have to wait till next year.  

Reporting from the state capitol, I'm Nick Thompson.

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