House Republicans are proposing cuts to Medicaid to ease the tight state budget. Under the plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden of St. Charles fewer working parents would qualify for Medicaid by dropping eligibility from 77 percent of poverty to 50 percent. Non-Medicaid eligible Missourians who received benefits through a state waiver would no longer receive coverage. A total of 48,000 residents would no longer receive Medicaid, saving the state $36-Million a year. Bearden says they would have to turn to the 96 public health centers throughout the state, prompting him to propose giving those centers an additional $2-Million. Bearden says Medicaid’s growth must be reined in. State officials say Medicaid has grown by six percent last year to a program totalling nearly $4.5-Billion. Most, though, comes from Washington, with state general revenue accounting for $850-Million. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway of Warson Woods supports the Medicaid cutbacks. Also in the plan, a new asset limit that would remove 4,400 children from the state’s Medicaid plan for children.
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