The state House has adopted a 26.1-billion dollar state spending plan for the year that begins July 1. Majority Republicans have for the third straight year turned away an effort to accept expansion of Medicaid in the budget.
House Democrats like Kip Kendrick (Columbia) say that means leaving billions of federal dollars on the table and not extending coverage to those living at 138-percent of the federal poverty level.
“We are literally spending money to keep 250,000 Missourians from the healthcare that they deserve,” said Kendrick during debate on Tuesday.
Republican Caleb Rowden (Columbia) says Missouri can’t afford to expand the current Medicaid system, which he calls, “broken.”
“We are spending tens and hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain our current system at the detriment of K-12 education and at the detriment of higher education,” argued Rowden.
The House budget proposes a $74-million increase for K-12 education; $24-million more than Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposal but that would still leave the state about $408-million short of fully backing the K-12 funding formula.
The 13 budget bills need another favorable vote to reach the Senate.