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MO Hospital CEO: Medicaid expansion crucial to financial solvency

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The CEO of a rural hospital is warning that its financial security could hinge on the expansion of Missouri's Medicaid health care program.

Pemiscot Memorial Hospital CEO Kerry Noble joined lawmakers at a Capitol news conference Monday as House Democrats announced legislation to expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income adults.

The federal health care law cuts payments to hospitals for treating uninsured patients on the assumption they will get more money from an expanded Medicaid program.

If Medicaid is not expanded, Nobel says his hospital system would lose around $1 million annually because of the reduced federal payments for the uninsured. He says that would eventually put the hospital at risk.

Gov. Jay Nixon also wants to expand Medicaid.

But Republican legislative leaders have expressed concerns about its potential long-term costs.

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