Obamacare Has Missouri Officials in Medicaid Standoff

Friday, 23 Mar 2012 08:08 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Missouri might decide not to accept $107 million in federal grant money to upgrade its antiquated Medicaid system because of opposition to Obamacare, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper reported Thursday the technology grant “is caught up in election-year politics over the federal Affordable Care Act.”
 
So far, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has refused to file a formal amendment requesting the money and the GOP-controlled state legislature has declined to appropriate the first $50 million installment of the grant, despite appeals from other state officials eager for work to begin on a new Web-based Medicaid enrollment system.

The Post-Dispatch said it appears that neither Nixon — who is running for re-election and has been reluctant to embrace Obamacare — nor Republican lawmakers, are willing to move on the grant.

Democratic state Rep. Chris Kelly said both sides are making a huge mistake by letting their concerns about the federal role in healthcare stand in the way of improving the state’s Medicaid program, which is expected to grow by 400,000 people in 2014.

Kelly called it “incredibly shortsighted, both on the part of the Republican majority and the governor. They're allowing political bickering to cost us $50 million — actually $100 million over two years.”

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