The state Senate this week will begin work with the budget proposed by the House that continues Republicans’ opposition to expanding Medicaid.
Republicans oppose accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility, as laid out in Obamacare. They led a party-line vote to reject Democrats’ attempts to add it to the proposed spending plan.
Representative Randy Dunn (D-Kansas City), during budget debate, called that rejection, “boneheaded,” and, “inhumane.”
“I say it’s boneheaded because we have over 300-thousand Missourians, over 50-percent from rural communities, who are currently uninsured but would be [insured] with expansion of Medicaid. It is boneheaded not to expand Medicaid because conservative numbers show it would create over 24-thousand new jobs here in Missouri. It is boneheaded not to expand Medicaid because each year that we don’t we are turning our backs on over $2-billion in tax money paid by Missouri residents from coming back to this state,” said Dunn.
House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) took exception with Dunn’s choice of words, and accused Democrats of ignoring facts.
“Medicaid is bankrupting this state right now with existing eligibility limits. We have gone in a period of the last 15-months that we have added more than 60-thousand people to Missouri Medicaid. Our Medicaid spending – just the state General Revenue portion – up 26-percent in the last seven years,” said Richardson. “The discussion needs to point back to Medicaid … because it’s consuming this budget … so the solution to that is to add more people to a broken program?”
The budget proposal heads to the Senate, where Republican leadership shares shares the opposition to Medicaid Expansion.