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Nixon’s Budget Plan Draws Fire

The fallout from Governor Jay Nixon’s State of the State address continues Tuesday — especially concerning medicaid expansion. The Governor’s budget calls for nearly $50 million in federal money for expansion of Medicaid benefits for 300,000 Missourians. Nixon calls it, “the right thing to do.” Republicans counter that making an obligation means trusting lawmakers in Washington will continue to fund their obligations to the program. Tuesday, a member of the Missouri Hospital Association and Boone County Representative Caleb Rowden weighed in on the Governor’s plan. “Because of the large amount of federal dollars coming to the state, and because of the use of those resources in the health care system, you’ll see enough economic growth, at least during that initial phase-in period, to pay for, throughout that entire period, the expansion,” said Dave Dillion of the Missouri Hospital Association. Rowden countered, saying that, “by 2020, the state’s on the hook for 10%, which could potentially be hundreds of millions of dollars because we’re talking about 300,000 new people on Medicaid with this expansion.” The Governor’s budget plan is now in the hands of the legislature, and a final budget is due in May.

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