The state senate narrowly turns back an effort to restore eligibility to thousands of people eliminated from the Medicaid program two years ago.
The senate has advanced the program that will replace Medicaid. It contains provisions for health advisors to work with low-income Missourians to improve their life styles. It encourages employers to provide health insurance for employees. Sponsors say it focuses on prevention and quality care.
But Senator Maida Coleman of St. Louis says it fails to do one important thing—it does not restore than 100-thosuand people cut from the Medicaid rolls in 2005. She says the state has no way to determine who was rightfully cut from the program or to track those who should not have been cut. She says the issue is of greater importance because Missouri has a budget surplus
But Kirkwood Senator Michael Gibbons says nobody has lost health care. They just get it at the emergency room, which is more expensive than regular treatment. He says it’s important for the Senate to act on the bill as soon as possible.
The new program is called Missouri Health Net, but one senator says it’s just a repackaged Medicaid program that leaves tens of thousands of people on the outside looking in.
The senate still has to give the bill another favorable vote before it can go to the House.