Clearing up the facts on Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion forum

Many people have an opinion on Medicaid expansion, but Tuesday, the Missouri Foundation for Health, or MFH, held a forum giving non-partisan insight on the expansion.

It was a packed room at the luncheon Tuesday afternoon hosted by the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Last summer, the Supreme Court made a decision that every state has to make a decision to expand its Medicaid program.

Ryan Barker, the Vice President for Health Policy said Governor Jay Nixon has come out in favor of Medicaid expansion. Barker said no matter how you feel, he encourages people to contact his or her legislator.

â??One of the big reasons against it is cost,â?? Barker said. â??While there is minimal cost to the state of Missouri for the first eight years, there is a lot of cost to the federal government. Federal money comes from us as tax payers, and so, there is a lot of discussion of when the country is 16 trillion in debt ... is this time that we should be spending even more money to expand Medicaid.â??

Barker said one of the main arguments for the expansion is that it will help working Missourians.

â??These are mostly low wage hourly employees,â?? Barker said. â??They canâ??t afford insurance on their own, and most often they are not offered health insurance through their employer. And, this is really like a safety net providing health insurance to keep people healthy.â??

For more information on Medicaid expansion, click HERE.