JEFFERSON CITY — After refusing to set money aside in next year’s budget to pay for a voter-approved expansion of Medicaid, Republicans in the Missouri House took steps Tuesday to distribute the unspent cash on other items.
From directing $18 million to school transportation costs to sending an additional $88 million to nursing homes, the House Budget Committee reviewed how it will spend the $1 billion that Republican Gov. Mike Parson had earmarked for the expansion of the health insurance program for the poor.
The panel’s review came after last week’s decision to not fund the expanded Medicaid program that voters approved last August by a 53-47 margin, saying even with federal sweeteners, the addition of 275,000 Missourians was not sustainable over time.
The decision enraged Democrats, who said the GOP-controlled House was ignoring the will of the people.
Similar sentiments were voiced in response to Tuesday’s hearing.
“House Republicans have deliberately created a false choice between expanded Medicaid and other services. It’s important to remember Gov. Parson’s budget recommendations cut ZERO dollars from other state programs,” the House Democratic Caucus tweeted.