About 60,000 low-income Missourians will no longer meet the income guidelines to qualify for prescription drug assistance through the MO-Rx program. Republican Governor Eric Greitens has signed into law a bill that extends the program until at least 2022 for more than 182,000 Missourians. State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, says the program was scheduled to expire in August.
“It was a bill that we were all torn on,” says Lavender. “It’s a little, I think, disingenuous to say that we saved this program. We saved the program, technically, by keeping the line open but we pulled $15 million out of it.”
Those Missourians could face other state aid that many have come to depend on.
“Some of them may or may not overlap with these other 8,000 people being affected by the community-based services,” says Lavender.
Greitens also vetoed a bill, HCB3, that would help to provide in-home and nursing home care for about 8,000 elderly and disabled Missourians. Lavender wants the legislature to attempt a veto override on HCB3.
The bill would transfer $35 million in unspent state funds to offset the costs for such in-home and nursing home care. Greitens called the move “a fake fix to a real problem” that could jeopardize funding for other state programs like child abuse and prevention and first responder training.