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Torpey says testimony from Medicaid committee is all pro-expansion so far


ST. LOUIS — With two of the six meetings complete for his interim committee looking at Medicaid options for the state, Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, said citizens are hopeful for Medicaid expansion and reform.

Last Friday, this post on Twitter from Torpey gained some attention from pro-Medicaid expansion groups:

“Of course there are still four more hearing to have so I will continue to have an open mind,” Torpey told The Missouri Times. “But at this point in time, and as I tweeted, it’s clear that people want reform but they also want expansion.”

Torpey, chair of the Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility and Reform, said there have been about 30 testimonies from citizens — not including department presentations — during the two meetings the interim group has had so far, and none of the testimonies have been against Medicaid expansion.

Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence
Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence

“Granted it’s only two places, but I would have thought in Springfield there might be some people who would come out against it,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect with Independence. But again, that’s only two of six. What happens when we go to Cameron? Or Columbia?”

House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said he thinks Torpey is very much in tune with the Conservative majority and his number one priority is finding a fix that Missourians want for the current “Medicaid system that is broken.”

“He’s about halfway through his interim committee and he’s surprised that no one has testified against expansion yet,” Jones said. “If there are people out there that oppose expansion, they should come out and present their case.”

The next hearing for Torpey’s committee will be at 9 a.m. this Saturday, July 27 at the Columbia Public Schools Administration Building.

“I will continue to have an open mind,” Torpey said. “Hopefully as it builds we will continue to get people there. Not necessarily all of them testifying, but people there to listen too.”

For future committee dates, click here.