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Missouri Senate defeats proposal to expand eligibility for Medicaid health care coverage

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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — Missouri senators have defeated a proposal to expand eligibility for Medicaid.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 25-9 against the measure.

Democratic Sen. Paul LeVota proposed adding the amendment to a bill that would ensure the state continues to receive certain funding for Medicaid.

The vote follows rallies in the Capitol and across the state calling on lawmakers to debate expanding the joint federal and state health care program for low-income residents.

States can receive additional funding for raising eligibility under Democratic President Barack Obama's health care law.

But Missouri's Republican legislative leaders have called the measure a nonstarter.

And despite roughly two hours of debate Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans voted on party lines on the measure.

Republicans say the measure is too costly, while Democrats say it could save lives.

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