Nixon calls Medicaid expansion a 'smart business decision' during visit to Columbia

Feb 7, 2013

During a visit with business and healthcare leaders on the MU campus Thursday. Governor Jay Nixon said expanding Missouri's Medicaid program would bring more federal money to the state and create about 24,000 new jobs in the first year. Nixon called the expansion a smart business decision that would bring Missouri taxpayer money back into the state.

“We shouldn’t let last year’s politics get in the way of next year’s economic growth." Nixon said. "Moving forward this plan will bring a total in the first few years $5.7 billion to Missouri for the first three calendar years alone at no additional cost to the state.”

Missouri Republicans remain concerned about the long-terms costs of expansion. The first three years would be federally funded. After that, the state’s share would gradually increase from 5 percent in the fourth year, to 10 percent in 2020. MU Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Hal Williamson says MU would greatly benefit from the expansion.

“But if Missouri decides to not accept the Medicaid expansion, MU Healthcare will lose funding meant to offset payment reductions mandated by the Affordable Care Act. We would certainly try to continue to treat large numbers of uninsured patients with no additional funding to offset these costs,” Williamson said.

According to Williamson, in 2012 the University Hospital and its physicians provided a total of $53 million in uncompensated care. Nixon said the program would help provide health insurance to about 70,000 people in mid-Missouri and several hundred thousand people statewide.