by Sarah Thomack
St. Joseph Post
With less than a week left until the August 4th election, the Missouri State Treasurer, House Budget Chairman and others have been working to inform voters about the cost of Amendment Two.
Amendment Two is a Medicaid expansion initiative.
A “yes” vote for Amendment 2 would adopt Medicaid Expansion for those 19 to 64 years old with an income level at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.
According to Missourinet, House Budget Chairman Cody Smith says the August Medicaid expansion ballot measure is projected to cost $200 million in state general revenue, and $1.8 billion in federal funding each year. He also says it will raise Missouri’s Medicaid rolls from 950,000 to more than 1.2 million participants.
United for Missouri CEO Carl Bearden says there’s only a certain amount of money available in the state from the state taxpayers.
“Amendment 2 is directly competing with every other issue in the state and particularly education, because it is the largest pot that we have,” Bearden tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “Higher Ed generally takes the brunt of those cuts when it comes to things like this… then it would be elementary and secondary education is the next level.”
Bearden adds that 36 other states that have expanded medicaid have seen at least 76% higher costs per person than originally estimated.
“They’re trying to say the federal government will pay for most of this, it’s still going to cost the state 200 - 350 million dollars a year to pay the state’s portion of this and that’s 200 - 350 million dollars a year that has to either come out of education or some other priority program of the state or ask the people to raise taxes.”