Missouri Chamber advocates for legislation that couples Medicaid expansion with market-based reforms

This week, Rep. Noel Torpey, a Republican from Independence, filed legislation that the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes could become the compromise to secure billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding.  His bill, House Bill 1901, combines Medicaid expansion with market-based reforms.

“We urge lawmakers to consider this legislation, not only for the thousands of additional Missourians that we would be able to help by securing billions in federal funding,” said Missouri Chamber President/CEO Daniel P. Mehan.  “But also to help us keep the doors open in the health care facilities of our rural and urban communities, which, quite frankly, have been put in jeopardy by the ACA.”

The Affordable Care Act was designed to reduce government reimbursement to hospitals for uncompensated care as a trade-off for states to expand the Medicaid program and offer other insurance options, such as health insurance exchanges. In states that choose not to expand Medicaid, such as Missouri, health care systems and consumers will be left paying the increased costs.

“We know that employers, who pay for the majority of private health insurance, are going to be the hardest hit.  We can’t afford to shift billions of dollars annually onto our health care systems and job creators,” Mehan said.  “That’s why we are pushing so strongly for this compromise.”

Combining market-based reforms to the Medicaid system with the expansion is critical to gaining Republican support for the plan.

“We are closely monitoring the details of the reforms and know that these initial concepts may change greatly through debate,” Mehan said.  “However, we see Rep. Torpey’s bill as an important first step toward a viable solution.”

For more information about health care legislation and the Missouri Chamber’s ongoing efforts to expand Medicaid, contact Brendan‎ Cossette, Director of Legislative Affairs/Associate General Counsel at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at bcossett@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.