Committee Explores Medicaid Expansion In Independence | KCUR

Committee Explores Medicaid Expansion In Independence

Jul 11, 2013

Brian Kinkade of Missouri's Department of Social Services explains Medicaid to a panel in Independence.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Opponents to expanding Medicaid in Missouri worry about costs, but supporters say expansion is needed to help children, the disabled and elderly. The two sides sounded off on July 10 in Independence, Mo.

In the gym at Blue River community college in Independence, John Bluford explained what’s at stake in the Medicare battle for many low-income patients. Bluford is CEO of Truman Medical Centers, and he was one of several invited to address a committee created by the Missouri House to explore Medicaid expansion. A handful of local residents, like Robert Holliger, also came to offer their opinion.

“Medicaid is one of those situations where government decides who’s going to get the benefit and who’s going to provide it. Our founding fathers never envisioned government being in the position of taking property from us by the force of law.”

The Interim Committee on Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility and Reform is made up of citizens and elected officials appointed from across the state. Republican House member Noel Torpey of Indepedence serves as chair. The Committee will meet 5 more times this summer at location around the state.