The first Medicaid expansion vote of the 2014 Legislative Session failed in the Missouri Senate on a party-line vote of 23-9. The vote was on an amendment to a Senate Bill 518, a bill addressing managed care for Medicaid patients. The amendment was offered by Sen. Paul LeVota, a Democrat from Independence.
The vote shouldn’t be seen as a test vote of the issue said Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan.
“Pure Medicaid expansion without responsible reforms is not a solution and will be a non-starter with Republican lawmakers,” Mehan said. “We’re not surprised this amendment went down. We hope this sends a clear message that the only way proponents can hope to secure Medicaid expansion is by giving this complex issue the thought and work it deserves and to include strong reforms of the system.”
The Missouri Chamber has been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, but is advocating legislation to allow the state to expand Medicaid and secure the billions of dollars in funding the state will forgo otherwise.
“We disagree with ObamaCare, but it’s not going away any time soon. Rather than forgo billions of federal funds that will have to be made up by shutting down hospitals and raising costs on paying health care consumers, we support the expansion,” Mehan said. “But reform must also be part of the package.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.