A Democratic state senator has introduced a Medicaid expansion bill despite repeated statements from majority Republicans that Medicaid expansion isn’t going to fly this year. Rookie Senator Jamilla Nasheed of St. Louis says she’ll meet with Republicans one-on-one to convince them to support the expansion. She does not think she will be banging her head against a wall.
Her bill proposes annual reviews of the program, especially the job creation benefits that hospitals and other supporters say will result. “I truly believe that at the end of the day the Senate majority will take a strong look at expanding Medicaid for the 133,000 people who are now doing without,” she says.
Senate leader Tom Dempsey opposes expansion because he does not think a financially challenged federal government can be trusted to meet its promises to finance the program. That’s not an issue for Nasheed, who says, “ACA gives us an opportunity to do what is right for the people here in the state of Missouri, and that is to expand Medicaid at no cost for three years.”
Dempsey says Nasheed’s bill gives the senate something to work on if Congress gets Washington’s financial house in order.