Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a bill that would allow doctors to charge their Medicaid patients fees for missed appointments or failing to cancel 24 hours in advance. Nixon says the measure would hurt low-income Missourians.

Senator David Sater (R) (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate)

Senator David Sater (R) (photo courtesy; Missouri Senate)

Bill sponsor David Sater (R-Cassville) hopes the legislature will attempt an override during September’s veto session.

“I kind of expected him (Nixon) to veto it,” said Sater. “That’s a bill that I’m going to aggressively work on to try and get it overridden in veto session.”

The bill would allow doctors to charge $5 for the second missed appointment, $10 for the third and $20 thereafter. Opponents say the federal government likely won’t allow such a fee.

“We’re trying to change behavior a little bit, as far as people using taxpayer dollars to pay for their healthcare,” said Sater. “My private insurance plan, if you miss an appointment, the doctor can charge you for a missed appointment. This just gets the Medicaid population in line with everybody else.”

The measure would let doctors refuse to reschedule appointments until the missed appointment fee is paid.

It would also require Medicaid recipients to pay an $8 copay fee when they use a hospital emergency room for non-emergency reasons.