The legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 6, and Medicaid expansion is expected to be a major topic throughout. This includes whether expansion is funded at all. In the worst-case scenario, however, it could cost the state an additional $42 million. “Missouri’s ability to amend the constitution is pretty broad,” Hatfield said. | 3h. Medicaid Expansion Makes Sense for Missouri. Missouri voters narrowly approve Medicaid expansion Aug 5, 2020 Voters were asked to amend Missouri's Constitution to force an expansion of Medicaid in the state. State Sen. Lincoln Hough. — Low-income Missouri residents who now qualify for Medicaid under a voter-approved expansion will have to wait until July 2021 for the program to go into effect. Missouri becomes the 38th state to approve Medicaid expansion to more low-income adults In this July 7 file photo, Missouri Gov. It is estimated expansion of MO HealthNet, the state's Medicaid program, would add about 230,000 people to its rolls. KANSAS CITY, Mo. However, outgoing state Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, the ranking minority member of the Budget Committee, said he does not anticipate the costs associated with expansion to be as high as some are suggesting. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the nation and the state of Missouri. The latest updates about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the St. Louis metro area, what leaders are doing about it and how quickly it's spreading. Parson did not support expansion, and in his State of the State address he called it a “tax increase Missourians could not afford.” But he said he will follow through on what voters agreed to. That will be a difficult hill to climb for conservatives, said Chuck Hatfield, an attorney specializing in government-related issues. It resulted in 17,000 adults losing coverage in a three-month time span, with no significant changes in employment. Healthcare is the state’s largest employment sector.Outgoing Governor Jay Nixon was a longtime propo… Missouri voters approve Medicaid expansion, making it 38th state to do so. Missouri's Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion proposals over the past decade, prompting supporters to turn to the initiative process. Arkansas was the first state to pass them in 2018. If you click “Agree and Continue” below, you acknowledge that your cookie choices in those tools will be respected and that you otherwise agree to the use of cookies on NPR’s sites. In an effort to ensure only those who need assistance are enrolled, Coleman said work requirements will almost certainly be a part of the conversation. It’s about the politics of it, not whether it’s legal.”. Missouri voted to expand its Medicaid program, as 53% of voters supported the measure. Missouri voters approved expanding Medicaid by about 7 percentage points in August, and now it’s up to the Legislature to put a program in place during its 2021 session, which begins next month. The ballot language voters approved said that the state is estimated to have “one-time costs of approximately $6.4 million.” It also said that the annual net fiscal impact could range from costing the state at least $200 million to saving $1 billion. NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites (together, “cookies”) to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic. As of June 9, there have been more than 15,000 cases of COVID-19 and 800+ deaths in our state. White and pink buds on dogwood and tulip trees brighten the Missouri State Capitol grounds in Jefferson City (Getty Images). The economic fallout has been widespread as well, with more than 500,000 Missourians filing for unemployment since March and the state … The change comes as the number of coronavirus case in the state has been on the rise. Voters in Missouri approved creating a state constitutional amendment that will open Medicaid eligibility to include healthy adults starting on July 1, 2021. Before the pandemic, if Medicaid expansion had been passed in Missouri, an estimated 200,000 Missouri residents would have been given access to health insurance. Missouri voters are set to decide whether to expand Medicaid health care coverage to thousands more low-income adults. A New England Journal of Medicine study found that an overwhelming majority lost coverage because of confusion about the reporting process or lack of awareness. Jason Bean recently authored a thoughtful opinion in this publication about the hard work that lies ahead for Missouri’s General Assembly as we prepare to implement the expansion of Medicaid, as approved by the voters on Aug. 4. MO Medicaid Expansion in July 2021, Process Improvements Underway. State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, said “everything is on the table” when considering how the program will look in Missouri. The passage of Medicaid expansion on August 4 was a huge success for the uninsured and underserved, and for the economy, of our state. When voters approved Amendment 2, they expanded the population eligible to receive coverage to anyone 19 to 64 with an income level no higher than 133% of the federal poverty line. A proposal to amend the state Constitution to expand eligibility for Medicaid is on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020s' ballot. We are spending a lot more on coverage, and I don’t know where that money is going.”. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid to individuals with income at or below 133% plus an additional 5% income disregard, which effectively set the maximum at 138%. State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, is a proponent of expansion, but she said taking a closer look at and reforming the Medicaid program is past due. You can adjust your cookie choices in those tools at any time. He laid out three ways we could move … Send questions and comments about this story to “Missouri spends a lot more on Medicaid recipients than most other states,” Unsicker said. “The law seems pretty clear that the Legislature can’t go in and say, ‘Well we’re only going to fund part of the Medicaid program,’” Hatfield said. “You have to fund it all or you can’t fund any of it. Medicaid Expansion Could Face Rocky Road In Missouri Legislature. Amendment 2 expanded Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is 138% of the federal poverty level or below. Five states have expanded Medicaid by ballot Missouri is the sixth state run by Republicans to say yes to expansion, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, at the ballot box. “We’ll fully support Medicaid,” Parson said. When Missouri voters approved Medicaid expansion in August, they were told by the ballot language that the price tag was unknown, with possible costs at $200 million stated alongside $1 billion in potential savings. As Kendrick alluded to, expansion comes with a 90/10 match from the federal government. MO HealthNet with 660K residents enrolled will be expanding next July to accommodate approximately 230K newly eligible residents thanks to 53% of voters approving Medicaid expansion in an August ballot initiative. This information is shared with social media, sponsorship, analytics, and other vendors or service providers. Deciding to choose or opt out of the Affordable Care Act expansion is something state lawmakers take seriously. “We saw wild estimates that vary dramatically.”. Missouri had been one of 13 remaining holdout states that have already missed out on generous federal funding of the Medicaid expansion. You may click on “Your Choices” below to learn about and use cookie management tools to limit use of cookies when you visit NPR’s sites. Missouri voters approved expanding Medicaid by about 7 percentage points in August, and now it’s up to the Legislature to put a program in place during its 2021 session, which begins next month. “But I do expect a cost anywhere from $10 million, I would think up to $75 million, in a new decision item in general revenue. Option one: simply expand Medicaid without reforms and watch the program continue to eat up a larger share of the state’s budget every single year while underdelivering on the health outcomes we need. Missouri voters approved expanding Medicaid by about seven percentage points in August, and now it’s up to the state legislature to get a program in place during the 2021 legislative session, which begins next month. State Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, is a proponent of expansion, but she said taking a closer look at and reforming the Medicaid program is past due. While several states have seen budget savings, the fiscal effects vary widely because each state’s Medicaid program is different. Missouri voters are deciding whether to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, which could extend health coverage to as many as 217,000 low-income people. Medicaid expansion in Missouri is needed now more than ever. Missouri; Medicaid Expansion Could Face Rocky Road In Missouri Legislature However, no Missouri Medicaid expansion exists, as the state did not accept the expansion. A University of Missouri School of Medicine study in 2012 concluded that “Medicaid expansion would be highly beneficial to the Missouri economy and its citizens.” And in June 2014, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center announced that healthcare job growth in Missouri had slowed considerably since 2012, and was falling behind compared with states that had expanded Medicaid. Budget Chair Cody Smith, R-Carthage, said that expansion created “a budgetary predicament” for Missouri, and that there will need to be extensive conversations about how to fund it. There’s also the option of putting expansion back on the ballot. We need our legislators to pass Medicaid Expansion. But that levels out and quickly becomes a net positive on revenue, especially considering the economic impact of having all that money drawn down to the state.”. Missouri voters approved expanding Medicaid by about seven percentage points in August, and now it’s up to the state legislature to get a program in … Because of this, a federal judge put a stop to the work requirements. Hatfield said the way the constitutional amendment was written means the Legislature funds the entire Medicaid program or none of it. It is time to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Over 25 states have already expanded Medicaid, but Missouri hasn’t. See details. Going against the will of the voters would not be new for the General Assembly. Now, Missouri will join most other states in expanding Medicaid to anyone earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level, which is about $17,000 a year for a single person. She said it’s going to come down to money for the program, which she believes the state does not have without taking it from other areas, like education and transportation. “It’s very unclear what the actual hard-dollar costs are going to be,” Coleman said. a new ballot initiative to repeal the so-called Clean Missouri, a study conducted by the Institute of Public Health at Washington University, it could cost the state an additional $42 million, Missouri Plans To Give Coronavirus Vaccines To Health Workers Within Weeks, Judge Throws Out Criminal Charges In Duck Boat Disaster That Took 17 Lives, At This Coronavirus-Plagued St. Louis County Hospital, The Pandemic Takes Its Toll, St. Louis-Area Congressmen Make Farewell Addresses After Lengthy Tenures In Congress, To Expand Or Not To Expand Medicaid: Missouri Voters To Decide In August, Missouri Becomes 38th State To Expand Medicaid, Hospital Association Says Expanding Medicaid Would Keep Rural Missouri Hospitals Open. 18,044 Voters in deep-red Missouri narrowly approved Medicaid expansion on Tuesday over the objections of Republican state leaders. “This was sold to Missourians as a way to provide health insurance for the working poor and so making sure that people are working in order to get that benefit, I can’t imagine we’re not going to be talking about that as well,” Coleman said. Missouri voters approve Medicaid expansion in tight statewide race Missourians narrowly approved Constitutional Amendment 2, clearing the way for health coverage for 230,000 state residents. “We could consider this every two years if that’s what the General Assembly wants to do. “Our total spending on participant benefits is ranked third in this country per recipient. This is Amendment 2 to the state’s constitution and requires: Missouri’s state treasurer and the House Budget Committee chairman will travel across the state on Monday, urging Missourians to vote against Medicaid expansion on the August ballot. Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion proposals over the past decade, prompting supporters to turn to the initiative process. This means 90% of costs associated with expansion are covered at the federal level, and states that have already expanded Medicaid have been able to offset some of their program costs to become a revenue generator for their budgets. “Because Amendment 2 had no accompanying funding mechanism, resources must be diverted away from existing budget priorities,” Smith said. MO HealthNet already serves about 900,000 people. On Tuesday, August 4, all Missourians will have the chance to vote Yes On 2 to bring more than a billion of our tax dollars home from Washington every year – money that’s now going to places like California and New York instead. We are proud to have led this effort to put Medicaid expansion in front of Missouri voters. Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.

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