Source: Nixon to Champion Medicaid Expansion
According to a source in the capitol, Governor Jay Nixon will travel the state tomorrow to announce his support for the Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act.
The Republican-controlled legislature has been hostile to this notion.
It’s expected that the “fly around” will take Nixon to St. Louis (perhaps a stop at Barnes Jewish Hospital), Springfield and Kansas City.
This has yet to be confirmed, and details of the announcement are still sketchy, however this source believes that Nixon will argue that the expansion can be structured in a way to make it revenue neutral – or maybe even achieve a positive fiscal note.
Still, given the venom from some conservatives against ObamaCare – recently on display over the prospect of setting up a state health exchange - it’s hard to see how Republicans will go along with Nixon. And ultimately this is a budget issue. That puts the Republican-dominated legislature in the driver’s seat.
Nixon will have plenty of allies. Just today an open letter was sent to Nixon on behalf of the following organizations: Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Missouri Association of Rural Health Clinics, Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri Nurses Association Missouri Optometric Association, Missouri Dental Association, Missouri Primary Care Association, Ambulance District Association of Missouri, Missouri Association of Health Plans, Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association, Missouri Health Care Association, Missouri Pharmacy Association, Missouri Coalition of Community Mental Health Centers, Missouri Ambulance Association, Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Missouri Dental Hygienists’ Association.
It states, “A recently conducted report by the University of Missouri, The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Missouri, summarizes the economic benefits of securing the federal healthcare dollars available for health coverage expansion. In summary, the report concludes that such action will result in the following: Creation of thousands of jobs; Increase in labor income; Increase in Gross State Product; Increase in tax revenue; and Reduction of the hidden health care tax on individuals, families, and employers.
“Our Coalition for Healthy Economic Growth, members noted below, fully supports this report and leveraging the federal healthcare dollars to bolster our economy and expand coverage for the working poor.”
For Nixon-watchers, this is a clear omen that he has his 2016 sights set on a presidential campaign rather than a senate campaign. A theoretical presidential race would need to appeal to a more liberal Democratic base voter than a Missouri senate race would, so the start of a shift from center-right to center-left perhaps…