A bill to crackdown on Medicaid fraud advances in the House with a provision that would bar providers convicted of Medicaid fraud from the program for life. Whether that provision will stay in the bill remains a matter of debate. A sharp exchange punctuates House debate on the HB 353 as top Democrat Jeff Harris of Columbia jumps on sponsor Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph Republican, about his resistance to banning providers for life. Harris insists that Schaaf answer either “yes” or “no” to his question of whether Schaaf wants providers convicted of fraud to continue to participate in the Medicaid program.
Schaaf insists it”s not a yes or no question. He argues that rural patients might be without Medicaid services if the strict wording is added to the bill. Despite such opposition, the House has approved the amendment and the bill now contains the provision. That leads Harris down another inquiry with Schaaf. This time, Harris asks if Schaaf now supports the provision and whether he plans to keep it in the bill as it works its way through the legislative process. Schaaf refuses to promise that it will remain. Another positive vote in the House sends the bill, with that provision, to the Senate.