Thursday night, in a town hall meeting meant to be dedicated for a review of the last state legislative session, the topic of the on health care took over the night’s discussion.
The discussion over health care law, however, didn’t happen until about an hour or so into the meeting, after Missouri Representatives Marsha Haefner (R-100) and Cloria Brown (R-85) gave a rundown of the latest Missouri Congress session. It was after that when a 16-year-old got up to ask how the health care bill would affect Missouri in the future.
“That’s a great question for a 16-year-old,” said a member of the audience as some cheered and clapped for the young man.
Thursday morning’s Supreme Court ruling was not popular among the public or the speakers at the town hall meeting, which was held from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. at the .
“No one really knows what the total effect of the bill will be, but we do know that a lot of the burden will be shared by the state,” said Rep. Haefner.
Haefner listed the costs that of the health care law for Missouri from 2014, the year it goes into effect, until 2019.
The following numbers which Haefner read refer to the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility to 255,000 adults in Missouri, a possible result of the health care law:
- For 2014, the cost will be $1.74 billion for the federal government and none to the state.
- For 2015, the cost will be $1.82 billion for the federal government and no cost to the state.
- In 2016 the cost will go up to $1.9 billion again for the federal and remains at zero for the state.
- In 2017, however, the state pays $99.2 million and the federal government $1.88 billion.
- In 2018, the state pays $124.4 million and the federal government $1.95 billions.
- Finally, in 2019, the state will pay $151.7 million and the federal government $2.01 million.
Haefner said she obtained the above numbers from Larry W. Schepker, director of the House Appropriations staff in Jefferson City.
“This money is going to have to come from somewhere,” Haefner said. “We don’t get to print more money when we need it.”
State Senator Jim Lembke (R-1) who was not an official speaker at the meeting but was in attendance, said a few words condemning the Supreme Court for their decision.
“This is the greatest assault on liberty we have seen in this century,” Lembke said.
Then, addressing the 16-year-old who had originally asked the question of health care, Lembke said that young people and the public in general needed to take action against the health care law.
“Your future is insecure because our liberties have been put in the back shelf,” Lembke said. “This is a sad day in the history of our republic.”