Instead of reaching a compromise that would change and improve the Medicaid program and bring about the expansion along with the funds from the federal government, this initiative was blocked by a handful of Republican senators who refused to help the uninsured and ignored the impact it would have on the health care system and economy.
Sen. John Lamping, along with Sen. Kurt Schaefer and a few others felt it was not their problem. It was a problem for the state as the cost of treatment for the uninsured would be added to the amount of premium paid by all those who were covered by health insurance. As much as $1000 will be borne by each family's premium due to uncompensated care - this after physicians and doctors and hospitals would bear part of the costs.
Missouri turned away over $3 billion in funds offered by the federal government to cover the uninsured in Missouri which would now be used to help the uninsured in other states. The expansion of Medicaid would have led to a growth in the job scene also.
People below 20% of the poverty line receive help under the Medicaid coverage and those just above the poverty line - about $12000 per year for a person can qualify for subsidies when they buy health insurance. It is people between these lines who cannot receive help from neither Medicaid or avail subsidies.
In fact according to a recent article the expansion of health insurance coverage in Massachusetts had saved many lives and expansion of coverage in Missouri could save approximately save 360 lives in 5 years.
There are many senators in Jefferson City who want to reform and transform Medicaid and to expand the program to cover the 300,000 people who need health insurance. They wanted to follow in the steps of conservative Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who had pushed for Medicaid expansion in spite of the critics in his state.
Timothy McBride, May 2014
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)