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Legislative Update 2014-01

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The Missouri General Assembly has been in session for about a month.  This is the second regular session which means things move a little faster than when the new legislative body is convened. Today, we will take a look at some key areas making their way through the legislature.

Tax Reform

The Senate and the House are moving quickly on providing all Missourians a broad based income tax cut. The proposals range from those similar to House Bill (HB) 253 to some very simplified proposals.

Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) for Senate Bill (SB) 509 is an example of a moderate tax cut similar to HB253. It is on the Senate informal calendar. It doesn’t have the streamlined sales tax garbage that raised so much opposition; (false) accusation of raising sales taxes on prescription drugs, added sales taxes to text books, etc. The Governor and the members of the Wall of Shame used these and a few other faux reasons to oppose giving Missourians some tax relief.

The Governor has already said he doesn’t think Missourians should get tax relief. He doesn’t believe that working Missourians and the job creators in our state, our local small businesses, can do more with our money than he and the bureaucrats can do. We know that small businesses create jobs. If it weren’t for small businesses in our state, our anemic unemployment numbers would be even worse!

SB509 would reduce the individual income tax by a total of 1% over 10 years. It would only do so if the state saw an increased net collection of $100 million in the previous fiscal year.

States all around us are cutting taxes with great success. SB509 is a very modest tax cut compared to what other states have done. It is projected that SB509 will “cost” the state just under $1 billion over 10 years. That’s $1 billion dollars that you and me and our small businesses can keep in our economy creating jobs, and more revenue for the state. Fiscal notes are static. In other words, they do not account for increased economic activity generated by letting people and small businesses keep more of their money.

Hopefully the legislature puts a significant tax cut on the Governor’s desk. We know from past experience he places big government spending at a higher priority than letting us keep more of our hard owned money!

Medicaid Expansion

The effort to expand Medicaid continues in full force despite the fact it is a proven failure. The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (OHIE) demonstrated that Medicaid expansion increased costs, not saved costs and does not result in any significant improvement in healthcare outcomes.

Bloomberg has a good article on the OHIE and why its results are so important to look at when considering Medicaid expansion, Obamacare Medicaid Expansion to Worsen Hospital ER Burden.

The first real attempt to implement the failed policy of expansion took place this week.  By a vote of 23-9 the Senate refused to adopt an amendment that would implement Obamacaid.

Several states have tried to claim they are not expanding Medicaid by taking the false free money and using it to pay insurance premiums and other such things. You can dress a pig up in different costumes but it’s still a pig.

Anyone who tells you that Medicaid expansion has “free” money is not being truthful with you. It will cost Missouri taxpayers over a billion dollars between now and 2022 if our legislature ignores the will of Missourians and implements expansion in any form.

The real answer to Medicaid expansion is to fix the current broken system not to spend more money on a failed expansion.





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