Ira Anders State Representative
Medicaid Expansion Efforts Declared Dead This Year
The House of Representatives on April 24 briefly debated the issue of Medicaid expansion before Republicans declared the matter dead for the year.
State Representative Jay Barnes (Republican-Jefferson City) had proposed legislation that called for expanding Medicaid eligibility to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. That equates to $23,550 for a family of four or $11,490 for a single person.
Although Barnes’ proposal wouldn’t have allowed Missouri to qualify for the federal matching funds, supporters of expansion had hoped the legislation would advance in the process and ultimately be amended to comply with the federal requirement.
After discussing the plan for a half-hour, Barnes pulled the proposal, saying Senate Republicans had made it clear they weren’t interested in pursuing Medicaid expansion or reform this year.
Despite the lack of support among Republican lawmakers, traditionally Republican-leaning business and medical groups all backed Medicaid expansion.
House Approves Income Tax Cut, Sales Tax Increase
On that same day, the House voted 90-68 in favor of legislation that would cut the state income tax but hike the statewide sales tax. Nineteen House Republicans joined unanimous Democrats in opposing the bill, SB 26. Because of changes made by the House, the bill now returns to the Senate, which originally approved the measure in early March.
The House version would lower the top individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.33 percent and drop the corporate tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5.5 percent. To partially offset the lost revenue, the statewide sales tax rate would increase from 4.225 percent to 4.825 percent. The Senate version calls for a larger income tax cut but a smaller sales tax hike.
The official fiscal estimate on the House version of SB 26 is that it would cost the state $438 million a year once fully phased in. Other estimates put the lost revenue at closer to $1 billion a year. Either way, the bill would force substantial state budget cuts if it became law.
The tulips are beautiful here around the Capitol.
Paid for by Ira Anders for State Representative, Nina Anders, Treasurer