A top priority of Governor Blunt has re-surfaced in the legislature, with a much different look.
Blunt is pleased, "If you want to write the obituary on Insure Missouri, it’s premature."
Blunt is pleased, even though the House Healthcare Transformation Committee has kept little more than the name Insure Missouri. The committee chaired by Rep. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) has combined his HB 2398 with HB 2413 , sponsored by Rep. Doug Ervin (R-Kearney). The proposal will allow Missourians making less than 85% of the federal poverty rate to enroll. Those residents who haven’t been able to get health insurance, because of pre-existing conditions, would be eligible to get insurance in an expanded state high-risk plan.
The House committee plan would cover an estimated 77,000 people. Blunt had proposed a much more ambitious plan that would allow approximately 200,000 Missourians without health care coverage to buy private health insurance plans.
Schaaf had objected to the Blunt Administration’s plans for two reasons. First, Schaaf and other House leaders had claimed that the administration didn’t have the authority to implement such an ambitious plan without legislative approval. The Blunt Administration contended the MO HealthNet legislation approved last session gave it such authority. Schaaf also balked at the cost. He estimated the administration’s plan would cost $600 million dollars. The administration pointed out much of the cost would be borne by the federal government. Though no firm price tag has been attached to the committee’s plan, it has been given an initial ballpark figure of about $46 million.