The clock will be ticking louder on Missouri’s Medicaid program during the next legislative session….and Senate leaders say time will not be allowed to run out. The state has more money than it has had recently leaving state lawmakers with the sometimes contentious job of agreeing on what to do with it. Some want people cut from the medicaid program in 2005 put back on the rolls. But there might not be any rolls to be put back onto on July first, 2008. The legisalture says medicaid will disapear by then if a new, better system is not in place. Senator Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood set that date. He says it gives the legislature enough backbone to get the job done without delay. He says everybody knows the state can have a better, more affordable, program for vulnerable people. He says this is the critical year to get the job done. Gibbons says a system needs to be developed that will let people have more say about their healthcare decisions. He says a comprehensive healthcare reform bill will be driven by efforts on medicaid reform. Minority Democrats agree 2007 will be a critical year for healthcare and Medicaid reform. They’re waiting to see what majority Republicans offer before taking a stance.
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