By Ashley Jost
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon spoke to House Republicans Wednesday to discuss his hope for Medicaid expansion legislation during the final six weeks of session.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Nixon acknowledged the work done by Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, on House Bill 700, a Medicaid bill that Nixon said is currently the “leading vehicle” and “the centerpiece for the discussion about progress.”
Later on Wednesday, a House Committee Substitute for HB700 was voted do-pass, 7-2, out of the House Government Oversight Committee, and will move on to the Rules Committee, though there is no hearing date scheduled at this time.
Currently with eligibility at 100 percent of the poverty level, HB700 doesn’t meet requirement for the federal expansion model, which requires 138 percent.
“We’re not going to increase our current Medicaid system beyond 100 percent of the poverty level,” Barnes told The Missouri Times. “That is the poverty level.”
Barnes said he thought the conversation with the Governor was “a good thing,” and that while he wouldn’t get into the specifics of the talk, he was glad they were able to be “open and frank” about the issues.
Nixon told reporters he thought the conversation was “solid and productive,” with the majority of the time devoted to open dialogue.
“Under the ‘three bears’ analogy, the porridge is a little warmer, but we’ve got work to do,” Nixon said about the work and the working relationship between his office and the legislature.
Be sure to check Monday’s issue of The Missouri Times for expanded coverage of HB700, including comments from House Democrats about the 20 Medicaid expansion bills filed late last week.
To contact Ashley Jost, email Ashley@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter at @ajost.