The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon again urges GOP leaders to expand Medicaid


Good morning.

“This independent report provides more clear and irrefutable evidence that inaction on Medicaid is exacting a heavy toll on our state, our citizens and our economy.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on a new study that showed that states like Missouri that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have seen spending on the program grow twice as fast as states that expanded it.

Nixon, a Democrat, said he’d work with GOP legislative leaders again next year to broaden Medicaid.

▪ “ ordinance conflicts with the general laws of the state, the ordinance is void and unenforceable.” — Judge Steven Ohmer striking down a St. Louis law that boosted the city’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018.

The minimum wage in St. Louis was to take an incremental step up Wednesday night to $8.25 an hour, but the ruling stopped that. The move was seen as a victory for business interests. (link via

▪ “It appears obvious to me that Valeant has been anything but responsive or transparent. It refused to take any action until served with federal subpoenas, and is still refusing to provide answers to many of the questions I’ve asked.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill after Valeant Pharmaceuticals CEO Michael Pearson failed to answer questions Thursday about his company’s decision to raise the price of lifesaving drugs.

Valeant increased the cost of a vial of Isuprel, a medication used to treat heart attacks, from $215 to $1,346 in February. McCaskill said Pearson refused to answer her questions even after receiving the subpoenas.

▪ “Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s full-court press to implement harsh voting restrictions and disenfranchisement efforts continue to deny Kansans their basic freedoms by making it more difficult for them to be active participants in our democracy.” — Hillary Clinton adviser Maya Harris on the effect that Kansas voting laws are having on young voters.

The New York Times quoted one voter, Amelia Flores, a high school senior, saying a lot of folks are working multiple jobs and don’t have time to comply with laws that require proof of citizenship.