U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today released the following statement applauding Governor Jay Nixon's announcement that he will seek to expand Missouri's Medicaid program, significantly increasing the number of Missourians with health insurance, protecting the solvency of the state's rural hospitals, and boosting job creation in Missouri:
"I applaud the announcement Governor Nixon made today-expanded coverage will boost the number of Missourians with access to life-saving health services, expand job opportunities, and protect rural hospitals which are at risk of closing from fiscal challenges. An expansion will ensure Missourians benefit from the taxes they pay instead of seeing that money and its benefits flow to other states. This is as commonsense as it gets. The next step is for the folks in Jefferson City to follow our lead. The Legislature should act now to support the Medicaid expansion, and create a Missouri-based health insurance exchange instead of handing its creation over to the federal government. I honestly never thought I'd see the day when the Missouri Legislature would willingly toss responsibility back to Washington and walk the other way."
Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to significantly expand their Medicaid coverage and, if they do so, to benefit from dramatically expanded federal cost-sharing in the program.
A study released yesterday by the Missouri Hospital Association highlighted that expansion of Medicaid eligibility will result in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for Missouri in addition to providing hundreds of thousands of Missourians with health care insurance.