Four blocks from the state Capitol, two major lobbying groups say they feel as good about possible legislative approval of Medicaid expansion this year.   But state lawmakers say the good feeling is wasted.

The Missouri Hospital Association and the state Chamber of Commerce say 3,000 Missouri hospital jobs are vacant because of the refusal of the legislature to expand Medicaid with the federal government paying all of the expansion costs for three years.

Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan thinks there’s a chance and says the two groups will offer a new proposal in a couple of weeks. .

“Not a chance.” say Republicans such as Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who is telling colleagues about the same time Mehan is talking about a new proposal, “I’ll stand until I just, like, die of exhaustion to try and stop it.”  Several other Republicans in the House and Senate echo that sentiment. 

The Hospital Association says several hospitals have cancelled or delayed major expansions.  Kuhn also says companies recruiting doctors are not recommending they come to Missouri because of the Medicaid situation.


AUDIO: Chamber & Hospital press conference 26:04