Governor Blunt says he will be seeking $2.5 million to enhance health care for poor women in the state. Blunt has announced he will recommend the legislature approve $2 million to expand the Women’s Health Program, created as part of MO HealthNet. The program pays for yearly women’s health exams and cancer screenings for women under 185% of the federal poverty level. It now is only available to new or expectant mothers. The governor says the expansion will cover all women on MO HealthNet. The federal government is expected to provide around $11 million during Fiscal Year 2009 for the program. If the legislature approves the governor’s recommendation the program’s budget would total $12.9 million.
The governor also is recommending a half million dollar increase in funding for the Show Me Healthy Women initiative which offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to poor women. The additional money will allow the program to double and serve an additional 1,500 women. The Centers for Disease Control will chip in another three million dollars and the program also receives some additional funding from other sources.