October 25, 2014

House to announce Medicaid committees this week

Two Committees will be announced by the House Speaker this week that will look at Medicaid reform and expansion.

House Speaker Tim Jones (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

House Speaker Tim Jones (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

The larger of the two will be made up of a mix of representatives and individuals from the private sector that will travel the state and gather information from stakeholders. It will be chaired by Representative Noel Torpey (R-Independence). The other will be made up strictly of legislators and chaired by Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City).

House Speaker Tim Jones says the second committee will, “take advice and consent from the larger committee and then boil something down into solutions to the issue of Medicaid transformation.”

Jones says it is the latter committee that will be responsible for coming up with suggestions for the majority Republican caucus on how to proceed with the Medicaid issue.

Those on the two sides of the Medicaid expansion debate were split during the session on whether Missouri should expand eligibility to 138 percent of the poverty level. Republicans proposed a plan that called for reform and expansion to 100 percent. Jones says he will leave that issue completely up to the chairmen of the two committees.

“We’re going to have to see what kind of compromise can be struck. I think it’s an open question right now as to whether we only reform Medicaid and do no expansion … or at what level we expand it.”

The Senate has already announced its own 10-member committee to study possible Medicaid changes.

The two committees will be announced on Thursday.