The Senate Health and Labor Committee has voted down a measure that would expand Medicaid services in the state. The program would allow more low income people to qualify for health insurance coverage.
The major health care organizations in the state and private citizens testified in favor of the bill, saying that it would allow more people to qualify for health care coverage. Bill Sponsor Senator John Hastert told the committee that that the federal government will pay 100% of the expansion for 36 months. But Senator Charles Scott says he doubts that the federal government can afford it. He says that would require the state to pick up the costs of the program and raise taxes. The bill failed 4-1 and Senator Hastert says the reasoning is clear and disappointing.
“The federal government is not going to live up to its obligations, the federal government can’t do what they say they are going to do, so therefore it’s too risky of a move. So I’m kind of disappointed that’s where it falls down to,” said Hastert.
The committee did give the bill a do-not-pass recommendation, which technically means the bill could be debated on the floor. But Hastert says that seems unlikely.