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Examiner
  • Future of Medicaid on agenda for Independence gathering

  • A large group of state legislators and others involved in the Medicaid-expansion question will hold a daylong meeting next week in Independence.



    It’s from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the gym at Metropolitan Community College-Blue River, 20301 E. Missouri 78.

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  • A large group of state legislators and others involved in the Medicaid-expansion question will hold a daylong meeting next week in Independence.
    It’s from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the gym at Metropolitan Community College-Blue River, 20301 E. Missouri 78.
    State Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, is chairman of the Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility and Reform. The group includes 14 state representatives, including John Mayfield, D-Independence. It also has 36 other members, many of them doctors or health administrators from around the state. They include Dr. Wayne Letizia of Independence.
    Late last year, Gov. Jay Nixon called on the General Assembly to accept federal incentives and expand Medicaid coverage to about 300,000 more Missourians. Washington is promoting the expansion under the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as a means of getting health insurance to virtually all Americans.
    The federal incentives are significant: Washington would pick up the full cost of expansion for three years, and then the states would begin to pay part of that, capped at 10 percent by 2020. Still, only about half of the states have acted to take that offer so far.
    In Jefferson City, Republicans who control the General Assembly rejected Nixon’s proposal. They noted the rising costs of Medicaid overall and questioned whether Washington would keep its promise regarding funding over time. They also say the program badly needs reforms, and they say that has to accompany any discussion of expansion. Since the General Assembly adjourned in May, Republican leaders have said they are confident that Medicaid will be addressed in the 2014 session.
    Gov. Nixon has rallied hospitals and business leaders around expanding Medicare. Hospitals see it as crucial to their continued financial stability, and businesses see it as a matter of job retention.
     
     
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