The State Senate has completed work on a plan to overhaul the current Medicaid system. SB 577 – the Missouri Health Improvement Act – moves healthcare for the needy from solely a treatment model to one that focuses on wellness and prevention, as well.
The bill passes on a 26-7 vote, with a good number of minority Democrats joining majority Republicans in supporting the legislation, but concerns are raised, just the same. Senator Rita Days of St. Louis says the move from Medicaid to Missouri HealthNet is a good first step, but does not come close to addressing all the needs that exist.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, author of the bill, calls this a good step in the right direction, transforming from a healthcare system that is focused almost entirely on disease and sickness to one that is driven on wellness and prevention. And, he says the final product is the result of a lot of cooperation and discussion.
The bill now goes to the House.