State Officials, Economists Debate Fiscal Impact Of Medicaid Expansion | KBIA

State Officials, Economists Debate Fiscal Impact Of Medicaid Expansion

Jul 30, 2020

There's no question that Medicaid expansion would provide more health care to adults, but there is heated debate about of whether the state can afford it.

Advocates predict socioeconomic benefits based on what other states experienced after expanding; others aren't sold on expansion. Some lawmakers and others are concerned that even 10% will strain the state's already pared-down budget.

Missouri's Medicaid program, also called MO HealthNet, provides health care to low-income Missourians who are over 65 years old, blind, pregnant, disabled, parents or children. Currently, MO HealthNet is funded by the federal government at 65%, with the other 35% coming from Missouri's general revenue fund.

That could change Tuesday if Missourians choose to expand the state's Medicaid, which appears on the ballot as Amendment 2. 

Aiming to close the coverage gap, expansion would extend coverage to all Missourians earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level, or less than $18,000. In addition, any new enrollees under expansion would be covered by the federal government by 90%, with the state picking up the rest.

To read more, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.