The state House has given initial approval to a proposed spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The Republican Majority twice rejected amendments that would have built federal money to expand eligibility for Medicaid into the budget. Both efforts were offered by Representative Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur).
“Ladies and gentlemen when rural hospitals close, actions here today will be remembered,” Schupp told the House before reading a list of groups that support Medicaid expansion. “There is only one group that is opposing it, and that group is right here in the Missouri legislature. It’s time to move forward.”
Schupp says Missouri’s failure to expand Medicaid means federal tax dollars coming from this state are going to other states. Representative Keith Frederick (R-Rolla) says he’s “kinda tired” of hearing that argument.
“That would be to imply that if we expand Medicaid we will deprive other states of the funds necessary for them to expand their Medicaid program and nothing could be further from the truth,” says Frederick. He argues that the federal government is creating further debt for the U.S. by offering to pay for Medicaid expansion in states.
The House also approved two amendments that would pull funding from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for common core standards, and the Republican Majority rejected an amendment to strip $6-million from the budget for a possible state takeover of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
The House is expected to send the full budget to the Senate later this week.