Failing On Medicaid Expansion Bill Missouri Works On Alternative

2009-05-09 08:25
Missouri State Capital

Affordable health insurance and Medicaid coverage in Missouri suffered a setback as the state house of the representatives yesterday failed to pass the Medicaid expansion bill. Currently the officials are working on an alternative.

The Missouri House on Wednesday rejected a spending bill that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly 35,000 parents, the Kansas City Star reports. Instead, a committee of lawmakers from both chambers of the state Legislature agreed to retain the $146.8 million slated for the expansion and use it for an alternative plan that has not yet been written.

The deal was viewed as necessary so that the budget can pass by Friday as required by the state's constitution (Noble, Kansas City Star, 5/6). According to the AP/Southeast Missourian, the bill failed by an 85-75 vote.

The bill would have expanded Medicaid coverage to custodial parents with incomes of up to 50% of the federal poverty level. Missouri's current income eligibility threshold for the program is $292 per month. According to the AP/Missourian, the agreement gives lawmakers an additional week to reach a compromise on legislation that would expand coverage. The legislative session ends on May 15 (Lieb, AP/Southeast Missourian, 5/7).

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