Missouri House GOP lawmakers defeat Medicaid expansion

A Missouri House committee has rejected Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to expand Medicaid coverage by a party-line vote.

The House appropriations committee for health voted 9-4 on Monday to leave out the Medicaid expansion from the fiscal year 2014 budget. Republicans opposed the expansion while Democrats supported it.

The vote came as a separate House policy committee was hearing testimony on a Democratic bill to authorize an expansion of Medicaid health care coverage to an additional 260,000 lower-income adults. Republicans on that committee also appeared firm in their opposition.

The Medicaid expansion is called for under President Barack Obama's health care law and also backed by Nixon.

House Republicans are working on alternative plans that may include a more modest Medicaid expansion combined with cost-savings measures in the program.