A leading social welfare group wants the legislature to expand its concern about healthcare beyond Medicaid. A series of public hearings has been planned by the Missouri Association for Social Welfare, similar to the hearings being held by the Medicaid Reform Commission. Joplin business owner, Caroline Underwood, says she’s a proud resident of Missouri, but isn’t as proud of its government. She says when she got laid off and found herself without health insurance, she had trouble getting her state representative or senator to address her concerns. Underwood says she had legitimate quesions about Medicaid that went unanswered. Others at the Capitol news conference ask that lawmakers consider health care in general, rather than Medicaid in particular. One of those is Dr. Laurel Walter, a family physician in Columbia, who says change is essential. Walter says she supports changes to Medicaid, which she asserts are long overdue. But Walter adds that any reform of health care must include change in the insurance industry, which she blames for complicated and confusing rules requiring reams of paperwork.
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