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Barnes Presents 'Cost Estimates' Of Potential Mo. Medicaid Expansion

Mo. House Communications
Mo. State Rep. Jay Barnes (R, Jefferson City)

The chair of a Missouri House interim committee on Medicaid has offered the beginnings of a potential plan to overhaul the system.

It includes expanding Medicaid coverage to around 225,000 adults while eliminating or reducing coverage for children and blind adults eligible for federally subsidized insurance policies.  State Representative Jay Barnes (R, Jefferson City) says the potential changes could save the state around $42 million by the time they're fully implemented.

"I think it's important that the legislature take a hard look with a skeptical eye to the cost and savings we might get from making any changes to Medicaid," Barnes said, "including increases in eligibility for some groups and decreases in others."

Barnes called his cost estimates a starting point for discussions, not a formal proposal for next year's legislative session. 

Some Republicans remained skeptical Wednesday about the financial projections presented by Barnes. They noted the savings assume some people no longer eligible for Medicaid would instead get federal subsidies to buy private insurance through a federally run website. Some Republicans questioned whether the federal government could afford that over the long run.

The House Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation has more hearings scheduled this month.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.