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Missourians get to decide on expanded Medicaid tomorrow at the ballot box

A Medicaid expansion measure is one of the hot items on Tuesday’s primary election ballot. Whether Missouri can afford to expand government-funded healthcare to another 230,000 low-income adults depends on who you talk to. Columbia State Representative Kip Kendrick, the House Budget Committee’s ranking Democrat, insists the state would save money…

“Most states actually see a cost savings in the first year to two years and then that cost savings continues to grow,” says Kendrick. “As more people come on, they tend to come on to that expanded role at 90/10 match rather than a 60/40 match.”

Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, a Republican, says the plan would cost the state another 200 million dollars annually and would mean less money for other priorities…  “We fund prisons and if we want to close prisons and let violent criminals out of jail – that’s one option. If we want to turn into Illinois and not fund our pension obligations – that’s another option and turn into a state with a junk credit rating. When you get down to it, one of the few discretionary items that we can decide how much money we’re going to spend without substantial consequences to the state is on education.”

Governor Parson opposes the measure, while the Republican-leaning Missouri Chamber of Commerce says it backs the proposal that it says would lead to another 16,000 jobs per year for five years.

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