JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republicans are criticizing a proposal by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to expand eligibility for Missouri's Medicaid program.
Nixon announced Thursday that he supports a Medicaid expansion for adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as allowed by President Barack Obama's health care law. The governor says it's the "right thing" and "smart thing" to do, noting the federal government initially would pay the full cost, and the state eventually would pay just 10 percent.
However, Republicans say neither Missouri nor the nation can afford it. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says the Medicaid expansion would be "ruinous." House Speaker Tim Jones called it a "big-government program" that would "increase the burden on future taxpayers." And Senate leader Tom Dempsey says Nixon's plan is "very unlikely" to pass.