The lead sponsor of the MO Health Net bill says a few important aspects of the bill haven’t been discussed all that much, but deserve a little more attention.
Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) says MO Health Net does more than just provide health care to 900,000 Missourians. Shields says it also contains a pilot program designed to use federal and state money to help the uninsured buy health insurance. The premium off-set program is designed to help uninsured Missourians buy their own health insurance. The state has approximately 700,000 residents without health coverage. Shields hopes the program can prove successful and be expanded.
Shields adds that the signing of MO Health Net ( SB 577 ) doesn’t end Medicaid reform. The new program calls for creation of an Oversight Committee to guide development of the new program in the Department of Social Services. The Oversight Committee will have 18 members appointed by the governor with the approval of the Senate. There will be two members each from the House and Senate, one from each political party. A consumer representative will be appointed, as well two patient advocates and one public member. Representatives of various medical professions will also serve. The directors of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health, and the Department of Health and Senior Services will serve as ex-officio members.