A representative of the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics urges lawmakers to restore Medicaid cuts, even if it means raising taxes. Pediatrician Katie Plax with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis tells the Medicaid Reform Commission it’s hard to overstate the value of Medicaid, which she says is demonstrated by the federal government’s commitment to provide matching funds. Plax says children need Medicaid coverage to prevent long-term health problems and their parents need Medicaid coverage so they remain healthy enough to care for the kids. Senator Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph), Reform Commission co-chair, challenges Plax’s assessment, stating peditricians in private practice have complained about Medicaid, saying it is swamping their practice, because of the high number of children coverage by Medicaid and its low reimbursement rate to doctors.Plax sticks with her contention, saying Medicaid pays for certain health care that private insurance does not. Plax says lawmakers must find a way to raise the resources necessary to keep Medicaid at present levels. Shields counters that private pediatricians might not agree. Plax points out the academy represents 850 pedatricians in the state.
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