Medicaid Transformation

Missouri lawmakers’ decision on Medicaid expansion will also have a far-reaching impact on every Missouri employer.

“The impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on employers is more far reaching than most can imagine.  Not only does it dramatically increase how much employers have to pay for health insurance coverage for their employees, it also is driving costs up on our state’s health care providers, some of the largest employers in Missouri,” Mehan said.

All health care providers will see radical cost shifts as a result of ACA and those cost shifts will be borne by Missouri employers in the form of higher insurance costs and taxes.  Some small health care providers, such as rural hospitals, will not be able to shift enough of the burden and may be forced to limit services or even close their doors.

“These are the cold, hard facts about Obamacare and these are the reasons the Missouri Chamber is advocating that Missouri expand its Medicaid program in order to recoup as many federal dollars as we can as a state to ease the blow,” Mehan explains.  “This is the only action the Legislature can take to make Obamacare better. We can block transformation on philosophical arguments, but the reality is this position is going to close hospitals’ doors. This is a chance to make the changes we want made to Medicaid without losing billions in taxes our citizens have already paid.”

Media Advisory

 

The Hon. U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond will be part of a panel discussing the next steps that will be taken to secure Medicaid expansion and reforms during the 2014 Legislative Session.  The presentation will be at the 2014 Missouri Chamber Day Conference being held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.  Sen. Bond will allow media availability immediately following his presentation, which runs from 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Medicaid expansion and reform will be one of several legislative topics that will be covered during the annual conference. (A full agenda is attached.)  Later in the day, attendees of the conference will go to the Capitol to engage in grassroots lobbying by visiting their local legislators. 

The purpose of the Missouri Chamber Day is to provide employers with a forum for discussing legislative priorities and the opportunity to discuss these priorities with their state senators and representatives.

The media is welcome to attend any portion of the event.  Twitter hashtag:  #mochamberday 
 

Missouri Chamber Day at the Capitol
February 25, 2014

AGENDA

8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Welcome
Dan Mehan, President & CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

9:15 a.m. Medicaid Reform Pays Off – Here’s How
Hon. Christopher S. “Kit” Bond
, former U.S. Senator for Missouri
Brendan Cossette
, Director of Legislative Affairs, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

10:00 a.m. Making the Case for Economic Development
John Mehner, President & CEO, Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce
Rob O’Brian, President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 a.m. Fostering Entrepreneurship
Jason Hall, Vice President Business Development and Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Regional Chamber
Paul Schwetz, President of Greater Missouri Imaging
Dane Stangler, Vice President of Research & Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

11:30 a.m. Federal Update from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
John Gonzales, Sr. Manager, Congressional and Public Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

11:45 a.m. Luncheon and Keynote Speaker
Susan Stagner, Vice President, State Relations, Connections Academy

12:45 p.m. Lobbying Strategy at the Capitol
Tracy King, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

1:00 p.m. Walk to Missouri Capitol Building House Lounge

1:30 p.m. Welcome to the Missouri Capitol
Sen. Mike Kehoe, Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Missouri Senate
Rep. John Diehl, Majority Floor Leader, Missouri House of Representatives

2:00-4:30 p.m. Grass Roots Lobbying
Participants will disperse to the Missouri Capitol Building for grass roots lobbying and to watch debate on key issues in the Missouri House and Senate galleries.

2:00 p.m. (Optional) Observe Debate in House Gallery (if in session)

4:00 p.m. (Optional) Observe Debate in Senate Gallery (if in session)

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.