Conservative group urges state not to spend surplus on Medicaid
Forecasters call for Missouri’s revenues to grow by just over 3 percent during the next fiscal year, and a conservative group wants any left over money to be returned to taxpayers or added to the state’s Rainy Day fund. Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and Republican legislative leaders released the annual revenue estimate ahead of the 2013 legislative session.
Patrick Werner heads the Missouri Chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. He says any budget surplus should go back to taxpayers or to the Rainy Day fund, and not towards Medicaid expansion: “They talk about the federal government ends up paying the lion’s share of it in beginning years, and they reduce their percentage of it in the out years, but to when? Are we guaranteed that that’s going to happen? I mean, the federal government in and of itself is in financial distress.”
Governor Nixon wants to expand Medicaid to an additional 300-thousand Missourians. Several Republican lawmakers have vowed to kill the proposal, saying it will raise everyone’s tax and debt burdens. The 2013 state legislative session begins January 9th.