November 23, 2014

House budget chair unveils plan without Medicaid expansion

The House Budget Committee Chairman has filed a proposed budget that takes out the Governor’s proposal for Medicaid expansion.

Republicans oppose using federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility saying federal budget makers might not follow-through on a promise to cover Missouri’s cost of expansion for 3 years, and saying they don’t want to add to federal deficit spending.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Rick Stream’s (R-Kirkwood) budget plan does not include $908 million in federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility in Missouri or the $46 million in projected revenue and savings from that expansion, found in Governor Jay Nixon’s proposal. 

See Rep. Stream’s proposed budget bills

Stream says the only changes he’s made from the Governor’s budget have been to find where that $46 million was and remove it, then restore General Revenue funding to various Medicaid programs in the Departments of Mental Health, Health and Senior Services, Social Services and Corrections.  Nixon’s plan assumed the state would save money in those areas with Medicaid expanson.

Some of the changes Stream makes from the governor’s proposal include a reduction in a proposed $34 million increase to the state’s colleges and universities to $20 million, elimination of $5 million for information technology and $2.3 million for an export initiative and reduction of proposed increases for preschool grants and cultural programs.

Stream’s plan does retain $118 million found in Governor’s proposal that is tied to the passage of three pieces of legislation: $52 million from passage of an amnesty period for people to pay overdue taxes, more than $10 million from a proposed law encouraging collection of sales taxes on online purchases and more than $56 million from the elimination of a tax break for low-income renters.

Members of the budget committee begin working with Stream’s budget next week.