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Capitol Briefs: Medicaid expansion funding fails in Senate Appropriations 


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — An amendment seeking to fund Medicaid expansion failed in the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday night after the vote split straight down the middle. 

Sen. Lincoln Hough proposed an amendment to a pair of budget bills that would have appropriated $60 million in general revenue funds to expand the program. Each member of the committee spoke on the proposition before taking a vote, ultimately tying 7-7 and killing the amendment. 

“I appreciate the comments from our committee,” Hough said. “I’m a firm believer in voting how you believe your district is best represented — but the task at hand for this committee and for the General Assembly is to pass a budget for the entire state, and in my view that is the lens we should look at this program with.”

  • Hough’s proposal was half of Gov. Mike Parson’s recommendation for the state’s portion of the expansion.
  • GOP Sens. Justin Brown and Mike Cierpiot joined Hough and Democratic members in favor of the amendment. Brown said he supported his colleagues making their concerns known before any further action was taken.
  • The House Budget Committee voted down a proposed fund for the program last month along party lines, and efforts to include expansion on the House floor were unsuccessful. 
  • Missourians voted to become the 38th state to expand its Medicaid program last August, moving to cover more than 200,000 people who earn less than $18,000 a year. The change has an effective date of July 1. 
  • The amendment would have been part of the budget for the departments of Social Services and Health and Senior Services.
  • As of this 11:30 p.m., at the time of publication of this report, the Appropriations Committee was still working through the budget books from a quiet Capitol building.

“It’s purely out of spite that Republicans are willing to punish their own constituents for voting against their party line,” Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee Chair Peter Merideth said Thursday. “Every time a rural hospital closes, every time someone dies because they simply can’t afford medical care, Republicans will have to stand and answer why their cold, callous, and fiscally irresponsible decisions are killing Missourians.”

This story has been updated.