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Top GOP Lawmakers Oppose Medicaid Expansion

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/AP) — Top Missouri Republicans say they have no intention of expanding Medicaid eligibility as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care law.

The high court struck down a provision Thursday that threatened states with the loss of existing federal Medicaid dollars if they refuse to expand coverage to adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That ruling essentially makes the expansion optional for states.

House Majority Leader Tim Jones says the Republican-led Legislature will not consider the expansion.

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder called the Medicaid expansion a “break-the-bank provision.”

Its estimated that if Medicaid was to expand it would cost Missouri $100 million or more annually beginning in 2017.

In Illinois, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka warns the federal health care law could cost the already financially strapped state up to $2.4 billion over the next six years.

Medicaid currently accounts for more than 20 percent of the state budget and continues to grow. Topinka goes on to say,  Illinois is a textbook example of what can happen if financial challenges are not proactively addressed.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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