KIRKWOOD, MO (KMOX) - The Missouri House said no Tuesday to another Democratic effort to add Medicaid expansion to the state budget, even as Democratic Governor Jay Nixon was in Kirkwood stumping for the measure.
“Here in Missouri it is the time to make the smart business decision, the right human decision, and bring the tax dollars we send to Washington back here to work in Missouri,” Nixon said.
The House defeated a plan to send the budget back to a committee in hopes of adding more than $900 million of federal funds to expand Medicaid for low-income adults.
The 2010 federal health care law calls for expanding Medicaid but a Supreme Court ruling last year makes it optional for states to participate. Nixon Tuesday argued that Missouri state funds will not be spent during the first three years of the expansion.
“In three years if the federal government doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain of if the program doesn’t work in a way that we would like it to, we’ll pull back,” he said. “But standing still while Washington takes our tax dollars, $6 billion over the next three years, and spends them in other states is an alternative we simply cannot afford.”