ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Missouri Governor Jay Nixon wants to expand the state’s Medicaid program to help several hundred thousand residents who are too poor to have health insurance.
Under Obamacare the very poorest people are supposed to get health coverage under expanded state Medicaid programs. And Governor Nixon now says he wants to expand the program in Missouri setting up a fight with republicans who call it a welfare scheme that costs too much.
The GOP says Missouri can’t afford to expand Medicaid even though the feds would pay for all the costs for the first three years. But the democratic governor says unless Medicaid is expanded thousands of uninsured Missourians will flood state emergency rooms. Eventually the state would have to pay part of the cost. The governor says taxes will not have to be raised even though he has no idea how much expanding Medicaid would eventually cost the state.
Nixon says if the republican-controlled legislature refuses to expand Medicaid many hospitals in rural and poor areas might be driven out of business by the sudden influx of poor people with no way to pay for medical care.