Missouri House backs health-care expansion plan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | The Missouri House has passed a plan to expand government-subsidized health care to low-income Missourians who have difficulty getting insurance.

The 83-77 House vote Tuesday night fulfills a pledge made by legislative leaders last week when they passed a budget setting aside $147 million for a potential health-care expansion.

The funding is contingent on the House, Senate and Gov. Jay Nixon ultimately agreeing on a health-care plan.

Nixon has proposed an expansion of the Medicaid program to cover custodial parents earning up to 50 percent of the poverty level.

The Senate has passed a bill creating a new government program to cover the same pool of people.

The House plan would cover a smaller subset of low-income adults through the state’s existing high-risk insurance pool.