The Senate liked the proposal to replace Medicaid with Missouri Health Net enough give it preliminary approval, but health lobbyists are speaking out against it. The executive director for the Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence, Richard Blakey, says the proposal is too vague. He says terms like “health home” and “health advocate” are ill defined.
Blakey says the entire bill is confusing and he says it was apparent in debate and discussion that senators were confused by it too. The health advocate adds that the portion of the proposal that outlines a program where people earn points if they conduct a healthy lifestyle such as quitting smoking or losing weight is deeply concerning. He says residents shouldn’t have to live a health lifestyle in order to get medicine that’s medically necessary. He also suggests rural residents would lose out because they might not have the access to smoking cessation programs, for instance. Blakey says the poor are short-changed too since they aren’t likely to have enough money to pay for the kinds of foods required in a diet geared toward losing weight.