Senator Talks Transportation Tax, Medicaid

| March 15, 2013
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Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature dealt a blow to a Medicaid expansion plan this week.  The Senate Appropriations Committee defeated legislation authorizing the expansion.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with Senator David Pearce, of Warrensburg:

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The measure failed by a vote of three to eight.  “I have some real concerns about the expansion of Medicaid.  It would take Missouri from one out of six folks on Medicaid to one out of five.  It would add some 300,000 people to the Medicaid rolls.  And although the State of Missouri would not have to bear the cost the first three years, after that the State of Missouri would be on the hook for quite a while,” said Pearce.

Earlier this week, the Missouri Hospital Association and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry released a report saying that the cost of providing care to the uninsured could nearly triple to $3.5 billion annually by 2019 if the Medicaid expansion is not enacted.

The Senate also passed a proposed one-cent sales tax to fund state and local transportation projects.  The tax would require approval by Missouri voters and go back on a statewide ballot after 10 years.  Officials estimate the tax would generate nearly $8 billion over a decade with 10 percent dedicated to local transportation needs.

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