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Senators debate the future of healthcare for lower-income Missourians.

March 14, 2005
By: Jade Mingus
State Capital Bureau

Senate debate has erupted over the bill to cut Missourians off Medicaid. Jade Mingus has more from the state Capitol.

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In the early stages of what St. Louis City Senator Pat Dougherty says will be an all night filibuster, Senators argued over the effects of the Medicaid cuts.

Republican Senator Jason Crowell from southern Missouri says without reform the Medicaid program will die.

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"The red flags are waving, the alarm bells are blaring, and all that are willing to face reality, they see that Missouri's Medicaid system is on a path to bankruptcy."

Senator Crowell says currently one million Missourians receive Medicaid benefits.

But Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty said the cuts would kick thousands of Missourians off Medicaid.

Dougherty also predicted the healthcare cuts would hurt Missouri's economy. From the state Capitol, I'm Jade Mingus.