Representative Judy Baker of Columbia calls the state budget a moral document. She says the budget reveals the state’s priorities. Baker says she agrees with Churches United in Christ, a group of various Christian organizations, that the current state budget doesn’t have its priorities straight. She says the cuts to Medicaid two years ago cut off poor people, not middle-class nor the upper middle-class, and went from 100 percent of federal poverty level to 85 percent.
Both Baker and represenatives for Churches Uniting in Christ say the cuts are ultimately a burden that falls upon charity hospitals. They add that the state is losing nearly a billion dollars in federal aid from Medicaid cuts. But, she says her proposal would restore cuts while including the preventive healthcare methods defined in the MO Healthnet plan. She says the problem is, the legislature won’t put her proposal up for debate. Baker says her bill has not seen one committee hearing. She adds that Senator Wes Shoemeyer is carrying the senate version of her legislation, and his bill has seen one committee debate.
Baker urges church representatives to continue raising their voice in the call to restore healthcare to the poor.