The Missouri House voted to give final approval yesterday to a 34-billion dollar state operating budget, which does not contain funding for Medicaid expansion. House Republicans say expansion would help able bodied adults, many who choose not to work. State Representative Doug Richey wants to use expansion money to instead support seniors in nursing homes and provide care for the developmentally disabled.
Medicaid is a federal and state program that assists with medical costs for residents with limited incomes. In August, 53 percent of Missouri voters approved Medicaid expansion, although it failed in 105 of the state’s 114 counties. House Democrats say the voters have spoken, and say Medicaid expansion will help residents between the ages of 19 and 64 with an income level at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.