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Gov. Nixon proposes to aid businesses with health insurance assistance

state capitol
Ryan Famuliner
The Mo. Senate's only doctor is blocking a bill creating a prescription drug program for the state.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has added a new prong to his proposal to draw down billions of dollars through a Medicaid expansion.

Nixon said Monday that he wants to use federal money to help pay health insurance costs for businesses with fewer than 150 employees.

The state aid would be available only for people earning less than 138 percent of the poverty level, which is about $27,000 a year for a family of three.

The Democratic governor has dubbed his plan "Missouri Health Works." Legislative approval would be required to expand Medicaid eligibility and to authorize assistance for businesses to pay health insurance premiums.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected plans to expand Medicaid eligibility. Just three weeks remain before the session ends May 16.

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