Kinder Stands Against Medicaid Expansion

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COLUMBIA - Lt. Governor Peter Kinder told KOMU 8 News Friday he "could not support" the expansion of Medicaid in Missouri, a decision Thursday's landmark Supreme Court ruling left up to individual states to decide.

The Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not dictate Medicaid expansion, but if Missouri opted to take that route, it would extend care to about 255,000 people. The expansion, according to the Associate Press, would add eligibility to Missourians within 133 percent of the poverty level and would cost about $100 million starting in 2017.

Kinder said the possible expansion would create a "Medicaid nation" and take money away from K-12 and higher education funds. House Majority Leader Tim Jones vowed the legislature would not vote to expand Medicaid in Missouri, and Kinder said the state simply "cannot afford" it.

Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement his office is still reviewing the court ruling before taking an official stance. Phone calls to Democratic legislators in the Missouri legislature were not immediately returned, but Republicans control both the House and the Senate in the General Assembly.