The discussion of the future of Medicaid in Missouri has likely not ended with the close of the legislative session. The General Assembly has approved legislation that would create at House-Senate Committee to study Medicaid reform in the interim.
The idea was proposed in the House by Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), who told his fellows, “It’s now my hope that we can form a joint interim committee to work together with leaders on this issue from the Missouri Senate. I think that there’s an interest in there in exploring paths forward.”
The proposal was carried in the Senate by Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), who criticized Republicans as opposing Medicaid expansion out of “hatred for President Obama.” She called the idea of an interim committee a “light at the end of the tunnel.”
She says, “Hopefully we can get this past the finish line next year.”
House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) says his caucus will participate in that committee, but says the Republican majority already knows what needs to be done.
“I think that’s just a way for them to kick the ball down the field. They’re just going to try and push it off ’til next session, but Missouri can’t wait for next session. We absolutely failed … it was the single most important issue of this session.”
The interim committee proposal was passed out of the legislature on Friday before the end of the session. Governor Jay Nixon (D) must now decide how to act on it.