It might be another week or so before Capitol Hill lawmakers in Washington get down to determining the look of the final health care reform bill. But state lawmakers in Jefferson City are already talking about it. State Senators are scheduled to take part in an information seminar Tuesday morning at the State Capitol.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R-Farmington) says Missouri and other states will pay dearly for this legislation.
“As one of the state’s governors said, ‘It’s the biggest unfunded mandate that’s ever been sent to the states,'” said Engler in a meeting with reporters following Monday’s legislative session.
Senate Minority Leader Victor Callahan (D-Independence) believes state lawmakers should discuss health care reform and its impact on Missouri and other states, but he wants to wait until a final version of an overhaul bill with all its implications is on the table.
“I think it’s important to have a public policy debate about all of those things,” said Callahan following Monday’s session.
Senate Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) believes the final version – House, Senate, or a combination of both – will hurt Missouri.
“It would be devastating, right now, the impact,” said Shields.
Callahan wants to know more.
“Does all this kick in in 2014? Does part of it kick in immediately?” asked Callahan. “I don’t know those answers.”
Some Republicans are asking Attorney General Chris Koster to join several other Attorneys General in opposing the Nebraska compromise, in the Senate version, that would have Missouri and the other 48 states picking up the costs of Medicaid expansion in Missouri.