Thursday, October 29, 2009

McCaskill Makes No Committment On Medicaid Expansion

Sen. Claire McCaskill made no commitment on her support for a provision in healthcare legislation that would expand Medicaid eligibility and shift some portion of that cost to beleaguered state budgets.
"I think we've got to look at what those costs are," McCaskill said when asked what she thought about that provision. "I think it makes sense for us to expand Medicaid, but not on the backs of the states that don't have the wherewithal to do it right now."
As Capitol Calling's Jason Rosenbaum notes, House legislation introduced today would push up Medicaid eligibility levels to 150 percent of the federal poverty levels. Rosenbaum also has VIDEO of McCaskill earlier this year saying it would be hard to "keep the bill deficit neutral," if eligibility was expanded to even 133 percent of the federal poverty level. "I would be shocked if it stayed that high. And I would certainly support it ratcheting down slightly," McCaskill went on at the time.
TODAY: McCaskill again said the Congressional Budget Office would serve as her guide. "The analysis for the 10 years of the bill . . . has to be deficit neutral for me to support it," she said, when asked about House legislation.
House legislation revealed Thursday comes in at an estimated cost of $894 billion dollars, and the CBO says it will create deficits over the second five years.
STILL, McCaskill said: "It's not a good financial decision to cut people off Medicaid because we're just paying anyway."

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