AIM joins Gov. Nixon in support of Medicaid expansion and transformation
Associated Industries of Missouri President Ray McCarty stood with Governor Jay Nixon today at the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business Building in Columbia as the governor supported expansion of the state’s Medicaid rolls to 300,000 Missourians.
AIM has taken the position to support the expansion plan with the caveat that Missouri use this opportunity to transform Missouri’s Medicaid system.
Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon
“Associated Industries of Missouri is supportive of the Medicaid expansion, if and only if the state uses this opportunity to transform the current Medicaid system into one that is more efficient,” said McCarty. “Expanding coverage and taking the additional federal money is the only way to avoid large cuts in federal payments to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
“If the state does not expand Medicaid, hospitals and other healthcare providers will lose millions of dollars that have been used to partially pay the cost of uncompensated care,” continued McCarty. “These costs will be passed on to healthcare consumers, including businesses, through higher costs of care and higher insurance premiums. Although we disagree with this financial coercion by the federal government, we must protect Missouri employers by enacting the expansion and using this opportunity to transform the Medicaid system in Missouri.”
AIM and other business groups have supported the governor’s plan knowing the expansion would allow the state to draw down federal dollars that Missouri taxpayers have paid.
The concept is gaining support. This week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and
Ohio Governor John Kasich, both Republicans, supported the expanded eligibility in their states. Ohio would expand coverage to an estimated 684,000 residents.
In Missouri, State Budget Director Linda Luebbering has projected a total of $5.7 billion to the state for the first three
calendar years. The University of Missouri has performed its own study that says the plan will generate roughly 24,000 jobs in 2014.
However, Missouri’s General Assembly has taken a strong position opposed to the expansion. Speaker of the House Tim Jones (R-St. Louis County) used his rebuttal to the State of the State Address to oppose the expansion. Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), a doctor, has also gone on record against the legislation.
“While that’s a good thing from the point of view of the providers, it may not be so good for the taxpayers who are going to suddenly increase a welfare program,” Schaaf said to Independence’s and Blue Springs’ Examiner.