Columbians Educated On Possible Effects of Medicaid Expansions

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COLUMBIA - Around 100 people showed up for a public meeting Monday evening to discuss Medicaid expansion and health care reform in Missouri.

The non-partisan Missouri Foundation for Health hosted the event to clarify facts about the much discussed topic.

A court ruling means every state in the United States can decide whether to expand their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. It is expected to to cover 32 million of the 48 million uninsured in the US.

"Under the Medicaid expansion it will create a new category for adults, low income, working families to have public insurance coverage, said Ryan Barker, Vice President of Missouri Foundation for Health.

Missouri resident Ann Jeanette Hubbard has a back injury and can't afford health insurance. She was at the meeting to hear how Medicaid would help her.

"Just being able to have insurance would be a blessing in my situation. To go from no medical insurance to having some that would be awesome," Hubbard said.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has reported that under the expanded proposal, the federal government would pay $8.2 billion through 2019 for the expansion in Missouri. Meanwhile the state would pay $332.9 million during that period and an estimated $100 million each year after that to cover the cost of new enrollees.

The federal government has not set a deadline for states to decide whether they will expand, but Gov. Jay Nixon has said he supports a Medicaid expansion.