Medicaid expansion. With the legislature’s refusal last year to follow a federal push to expand Medicaid to cover more people, Gov. Jay Nixon isn’t giving up.
“Each day we don’t act,” he said, “nearly 300,000 working Missourians go another day without the treatment they desperately need, for no other reason than they live in Branson instead of Bentonville, in Cape Girardeau instead of Cairo, in Maryville instead of Muscatine.”
Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois and more than 20 other states are moving forward in 2014 with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Nixon indicated that the legislature is trying to punish Washington for Obamacare, but is instead punishing hard-working Missourians who can’t afford to pay for the care they need.
“The people who are suffering now as a result of our failure to act don’t work in the White House — they work the night shift in our factories,” he said. “They wait tables and scrub floors. They drive snow plows and look after our kids.”
Nixon referenced the book of Isaiah, saying, “If you satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.”
He said Missouri taxpayers are spending $5.47 million dollars a day to expand Medicaid in other states and are reaping none of the benefits.
“Ten years from now, when trucks are still rolling off the line in Claycomo, folks might not remember the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act,” Nixon said. “Twenty years from now, when the mom whose insurance paid for the cancer treatment that saved her life attends her son’s college graduation, she won’t know the names of the lawmakers who voted for Medicaid expansion.”
“And 30 years from now,” Nixon continued, “when the student who was the first in her family to go to college takes the reins of a Fortune 500 company, she probably won’t credit the high quality of preschool she attended. But we will. And we’ll know we focused on the right things. We’ll know we made the right choices.”