WASHINGTON D.C. (KSDK) – President Barack Obama told NewsChannel 5's Mike Bush Wednesday that he thinks Missouri's state legislature is not doing the right thing when it comes to Medicaid expansion.
Missouri is one of six states in limbo about expanding Medicaid – which leaves nearly 200,000 in the coverage gap.
"…the state legislature of Missouri's not doing the right thing," Obama said. "When you've got the federal government saying 'we will pay 100 percent for people who do not currently have health insurance to get health insurance,' the idea that states for political reasons would turn them down, it makes absolutely no sense."
Last week, a state Senate committee advanced legislation that would revamp the way Medicaid is administered in Missouri by shifting more children and adults into managed care policies that more closely resemble private insurance. This legislation does not, however, include a provision sought by Gov. Jay Nixon to expand Medicaid eligibility.
"If, in places like Missouri that have no expanded health insurance, if they find that they can't afford it, they fall under what's called a hardship exemption. They're not required to get health insurance, so they're not gonna be penalized," he said. "Unfortunately, the Missouri State Legislature's penalizing them by refusing to simply sign off on us providing them healthcare, and after the politics of this is done, people realize it's the right thing to do for these families."