Even though Republican lawmakers turned back Democratic efforts to expand Medicaid this year, House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) has created two committees to look into the issue this summer. The first committee will have House members teaming up with citizens to explore ways to reform the Medicaid system.
That committee will then give their findings to the second committee, which will make recommendations for next year’s legislative session. Jones says the Medicaid system is severely broken, and the more people working on fixing it, the better.
“If we dump hundreds of thousands of additional uninsured people into that system, and give them a magical plastic card and simply say, ‘Well, now you have free heath care,’ we will further drive an already broken system into a bankrupt state,” Jones said.
The creation of these committee means there will be at least three interim committees working on Medicaid reform, as the Missouri Senate put together its own committee earlier this month. And a bill awaiting Governor Jay Nixon’s signature would enable him to create a fourth Medicaid interim committee, this one composed of both House and Senate members.