Medicaid Touted As State Budget Saver

Governor Nixon believes expanding Medicaid to accept billions in federal dollars will save the state money. The Medicaid expansion, according to the Nixon administration, would save the state money because some of the new federal dollars would replace state dollars that are now the sole source of funding for certain programs, especially in regards to mental health services.

In his proposed budget, Governor Nixon made some of his proposed funding increases contingent on the general assembly approving the Medicaid expansion. If legislators agree to expand Medicaid, then more funding will be allocated for K-12 education, jobs training, and other projects.

Some legislators dispute the governor’s reasoning because they fear the federal government will renege in its commitment to permanently fund 90% of the Medicaid expansion. Others, including the Missouri Budget Project (MBP), argue that the 90% federal match is here to stay. They cite the fact that in the 48-year life of the Medicaid program the federal government has never reduced a permanent federal match rate. For more on MBP’s perspective see “Medicaid Makes (Dollars &) Sense.”

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