Missouri GOP leaders oppose Medicaid growth ‘sunset’

Two Missouri Republican leaders say they are opposed to an expiration date for Gov. Jay Nixon’s Medicaid expansion plan.

Nixon has proposed a “sunset” if the federal government were to retreat on its promise to pay 100 percent of the expanded program’s cost for three years. Another GOP senator has filed legislation to end the expansion after three years, when the state would start to pay its portion for the health care of an estimated 260,000 Missourians.

But Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer is opposing that option and says if the program expires after three years it would already have added money to the federal debt. House Speaker Tim Jones added that he thinks the sunset is unconstitutional.

Two House committees rejected Nixon’s proposal last week.