Rain is drizzling on the roughly 40 people standing in line outside the Good Samaritan Care Clinic in rural Mountain View, Missouri. Some have been standing for hours. At 5:30 pm, the clinic doors swing open, and the patients flood into a clean, bare bones waiting room.
After declining to expand Medicaid coverage this year, the Missouri House has passed a bill that would create a committee to study the issue next year.
The House passed the measure 133-27 yesterday. It would create a joint committee of House and Senate members to look at ways to "transform" the state's Medicaid program. The committee would begin at the end of the current session until the 2015 session's start in January.
Gov. Jay Nixon's administration says it is expecting more than 1,000 people to rally at the Missouri Capitol in support of Medicaid expansion. The Democratic governor plans to speak at this afternoon's event as part of his effort to expand Medicaid to more lower-income adults as envisioned by the federal health care law.
Republican legislators so far have refused to embrace a Medicaid expansion. And the prospects may be getter dimmer.
Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update, with a shorter version of KSMU's Jennifer Davidson's story.
This week -- we’re hearing about the Medicaid expansion debate down in West Plains -- the seat of rural Howell County. A study by the Missouri Budget Project shows that Medicaid expansion would have its most dramatic impact in the state’s rural areas.