October 1, 2014

Medicaid Committee Chairman: discussion has shifted to reform plus expansion

The larger of the two House Committees studying Medicaid expansion and reform has one hearing left.

Representative Noel Torpey (R-Independence) chairs the committee made of up citizens and legislators studying Medicaid eligibility and reform issues. He says the comments his committee is hearing tell him that the conversation has changed since the legislative session.

“People who have testified in person … I would say maybe even 95 percent of them … are for expansion with reforms. I felt like when we brought it up while in session it was really, for the most part, just talking about expansion or not expansion.”

Torpey says some witnesses have reminded lawmakers of significant needs for reform.

He says one example was raised on Wednesday, “Why does Medicaid pay for surgery but not pay for the rehab? Those are important points to bring out. Those are questions we need answered, because that doesn’t make sense.”

The Committee’s final hearing is Wednesday in Chesterfield, after which it will submit a report to another committee made up entirely of House members. 55 people have signed up to testify at that hearing. Torpey anticipates another 20 or more will show up that day to testify. He expects it to last until 6:00 that evening.