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Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:59 AM

At St. Louis bill signing, Nixon 'hopeful' about Medicaid committees

Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was “hopeful” that House and Senate committees studying changes to the state’s Medicaid program would result in legislative action next year.

The two chambers are holding hearings this summer on the health-care program for the poor. The Senate committee held hearings in Jefferson City, while another House committee is set to convene tomorrow in Independence.

Nixon has toured the state over the past few months in support of expanding the Medicaid program to those earning 138 percent of the federal poverty level under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act. But the GOP-controlled General Assembly took no action, arguing that Medicaid expansion would be too costly.

“We have an opportunity here not only to use $2 billion of taxpayer dollars that Missourians are actually paying to improve and reform our health-care system. We also have a chance to make Missouri a healthier place,” Nixon said. “And so, I’m hopeful that these various committees will be used this summer on a good, tight timeline to look at ways to reform and improve the system.


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