A Republican-led Missouri Senate committee has defeated a plan to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the legislation on a party-line vote Wednesday, just minutes after hearing testimony from more than two dozen witnesses in favor of the plan.
A Republican-led House committee defeated a similar bill last month in the same fashion.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has been traveling the state trying to rally support for a plan that would add an estimated 260,000 adults to Missouri's Medicaid rolls by raising the eligibility threshold. It would be fully funded by the federal government for the first three years, with the state gradually picking up a share of the cost after that.
Republicans have expressed concerns about the potential long-term costs.
Meanwhile, the Missouri House budget committee rejected two amendments that would have expanded Medicaid. Republican Rick Stream of Kirkwood chairs the committee.
“We don’t like to expand government for the most part," Stream said. "There’s a worry about what the federal government has promised, verses what it will deliver...they say for the first three years, a hundred percent – who’s to say it’s gonna be a hundred percent next year?”
Democrats, meanwhile, may try again to expand Medicaid when the state budget is debated on the House floor in two weeks.