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Missouri Senate panel votes down Medicaid expansion funding

A Missouri Senate budget committee on Wednesday voted against funding Medicaid expansion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 7-7 on a Republican-sponsored proposal that would have set money aside to pay for the program. The tied vote meant the proposal failed.

Missouri voters last year amended the state Constitution to extend access to government health care to thousands more low-income adults, but now the Republican-led Legislature is arguing over whether to fund it.

Many Republican lawmakers have for years resisted expanding access to Medicaid, citing the expense of expanding it and waste within the current program.

But some GOP senators on Wednesday said the Legislature will be sued if they don’t fund the voter-approved measure, and that could mean a judge forces them to pay for it. They argued the Legislature should provide the money now so lawmakers have some control over the spending.

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