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The bill received bipartisan support but not enough to override LePage, who says Maine cannot afford it and federal promises can't be trusted. Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have expanded MaineCare coverage to more than 60,000 low-income Mainers.

Like scared little boys huddling in a closet, the members of the Missouri Senate’s so-called “conservative” caucus this week begged the monster under their bed to go away.

The monster is Medicaid expansion. The senators want it to leave them alone because they can’t make it go away on their own. Their intellectual argument on the merits of the issue has been laid bare by studies, colleagues, donors and other conservatives who have come to realize that balancing budgets and saving lives is a bit more important than simply hating Obamacare.

One in five jobs in Missouri is linked to health care. Hospitals and clinics are among the largest job providers in most communities and a vital part of our state’s economy. The industry is so robust that you may not have noticed that they have eliminated nearly 1,000 positions in the last six months, and are implementing a hiring freeze on 2,145 more positions. Why?

For those still not convinced by the editorial board’s piece “ ‘This thing is working’ ” (April 21), the bone of contention is almost always about cost.

Many conservative legislators and their constituents all seem to be asking the same question: “How will Missouri pay for costs of Medicaid expansion?” The real question is: How can we afford not to?

When examining the recent successes of the Affordable Care Act, many of which were outlined by President Barack Obama in a speech last week, it’s difficult to settle on the most important number:

It’s not the unemployed who would benefit the most if Missouri expanded its Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

It’s the cooks and waitresses, cashiers and cab drivers, housekeepers and parking attendants — people working low-wage jobs — who would be most likely to gain health care coverage, according to a report released Thursday by a group of Medicaid expansion supporters that spans the political spectrum.



One of Gov. Scott Walker’s explanations for rejecting a full expansion of Medicaid under the federal "Obamacare" health care law was this:

The feds won’t be good for the money.

And for more than a year, the Republican governor has cited a piece of recent state budget history as evidence.

Republican governors and likely 2016 presidential hopefuls Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of NewJersey, John Kasich of Ohio and former Republican governor Jeb Bush traveled to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s meeting at top donor Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian resort.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won federal approval Thursday to expand Medicaid coverage to as many as 83,000 low-income childless adults while ending coverage for about 77,000 childless adults who earn between 100% to 133% of the federal poverty level.

Those taken off the state's Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, will be directed to the new health insurance marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that an expansion of the state's Medicaid rolls would have brought some assurances amid the turmoil surrounding the health care law's rollout.

The governor earlier this year backed a plan to expand Medicaid to the working poor earning less than 138 percent of the poverty level. He was opposed by Republican legislative leaders, and the proposal died before lawmakers adjourned.

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