Missouri’s governor is working to alleviate concerns over the impact of a budget veto of a top priority of the American Heart Association.
A Missouri House committee is expected to discuss the veto during a Tuesday morning hearing at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Governor Mike Parson (R) recently line-item vetoed $153,000 in funding for the Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) System, which was created to provide emergency care for patients who experience trauma or stroke.
Missourinet asked Governor Parson about the veto during a Monday media briefing at the Capitol.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any change in the services provided by that budget cut, you know the withheld that we did,” Parson says. “I don’t think you’re going to see any change in service.”
Veteran State Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Osage Beach, tweeted Friday: “As a stroke survivor, I am very concerned about these cuts. Every second counts.”
The American Heart Association says the TCD program is necessary to ensure patients experiencing a stroke or life-threatening heart attack get to the proper hospital quickly.
“I think a lot of people are saying a lot of things right now without seeing what the real outcome is going to be. So patience sometime plays a huge part in what we’re doing here,” says Parson.
The TCD System connects 911 and ambulance services with hospitals designated as trauma and/or stroke centers.
The Heart Association says the vetoed funds will eliminate the money needed to staff the program. The Association says the faster a patient is treated for a stroke, the more likely they are to recover.
Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide, and stroke ranks fifth.
The “Kansas City Star” reports Missouri has 33 trauma centers, 62 stroke centers and 55 heart attack centers.
The Missouri House Budget Committee will meet Tuesday morning at 9:30 at the Capitol, and this issue is expected to be discussed during the hearing.
Meantime, commissioners from 14 rural Missouri counties traveled to Jefferson City to meet with the governor on Monday.
Governor Parson, who’s from Bolivar, says it’s important to work closely with local officials, including rural commissioners.
“Coming from rural Missouri, I want them (county commissioners) to know that it’s just important for them to be here in the governor’s office as anybody else and that I care about the issues they’re facing down home and the people that they represent,” Parson says.
12 of the 14 commissioners represented northern Missouri counties, while two represented central and southern Missouri counties.
Those in attendance on Monday included Chariton County Commissioner Tony McCollum, Monroe County Commissioner Mike Minor and Sullivan County Commissioner Chris May.
Parson tells Missourinet county commissioners are focused on transportation, infrastructure and workforce development issues.
The governor met last week with rural mayors in Odessa, and those three issues were also discussed at that meeting.
Click here to listen to Missouri Governor Mike Parson brief Capitol reporters, including Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth, on July 16, 2018 in Jefferson City: