"Proponents of Amendment 2 are currently spending millions of dollars across the state in an effort to try to convince folks to vote in favor of it," Smith said. "In all of that vast campaign and messaging, they're leaving out some very critical details. First, the cost of Medicaid expansion would be staggering. Second, there's no plan whatsoever to pay for it. There's no funding mechanism that accompanies Amendment 2."
Amendment 2 would deliver health care to an estimated 230,000 additional Missourians. The ballot proposal would expand eligibility under the terms of the federal health care law signed by President
Children in low-income families make up 63.5% of Medicaid participants while those with disabilities account for 46% of spending, the largest share. In state fiscal year 2018, total spending for the program was approximately
According to research from
In recent months, the state's general revenue budget has been cut by more than
Smith said Medicaid covers approximately 40% of the state's overall budget, which includes federal funds. The state would contribute 10% of the expansion costs, and the estimated cost is
"Expanding Medicaid is going to put even more pressure on the state budget," Fitzpatrick said. "I believe that Missourians are smart enough to know that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Medicaid expansion is no different."
Smith said the cost of the state's overall existing Medicaid program grows by hundreds of millions of dollars per year consistently. "It's grown exponentially in the last decade, and expansion would only add to that."
Smith said expansion proponents the measure will bring taxpayer dollars back to
Fitzpatrick said that the state, depending on the month, currently has between 900,000 to 1,000,000 people on Medicaid. He mentioned how the program was originally designed to protect the most vulnerable population -- those with disabilities, the elderly, those who cannot work -- but Medicaid expansion would potentially add up to 300,000 people to a program he described as already strained in the state budget.
Supporters believe Medicaid expansion could add funds to
A 2019 study by the
Thirty-seven states have adopted Medicaid expansion measures, including
"I have every confidence that
"Let's not miss this chance to bolster our economy during this recovery while expanding access to health care for our fellow Missourians," Mehan said in a statement.
Smith said the chamber is looking at the short-term benefits of Medicaid expansion, but the longer term consequence of tremendous expansion of federal deficit spending is troubling.
"I don't think we're talking about that enough," Smith said. "When that bill comes due, it will have a devastating effect on
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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