The Missouri Senate has started writing Missouri’s new Medicaid plan.
Medicaid as Missourians have known it is to die next year if a new program is not enacted. Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph is handling a bill that he says pays for quality, not just for service.
That’s a broad description for a bill that has 88 pages of regulations, programs, and incentives. Shields says the bill creates a system to reduce the number of uninsured Missourians and to provide more cost-effective delivery of health care.
Cape Girardeau Senator Jason Crowell, however, does not want any over-expectations of what the bill will do. He says the new program will not save a lot of money. Instead, he says, it will just contain the increases in the program.
Crowell says the only way to control costs is to control eligibility. That is likely to be a big issue before the debate is done. Shields’ bill does not address the major eligibility changes of 2005 that took 100-thousand Missourians out of the program. Shields says that’s a separate issue for a separate bill. But he expects some senators will try to put reinstatement language into the bill later in the week.
(The bill is SS/SCS/SB577 )