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Legislators kill amendment to cut their own healthcare benefits

April 13, 2005
By: IAN ROTH
State Capital Bureau

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State Legislators failed to approve an amendement today that would cut health care benefits for themselves by twenty percent. Ian Roth has more from Jefferson City.

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Legislators decided not to approve an ammendment that would cut their own health care benefits provided by the state.

The amendment, which was decided by a mere three votes, was proposed in the wake of a controversy over major cuts to Medicaid.

Democratic leaders in the Senate, like Pat Dougherty of St. Louis, think the unwillingness of legislators to cut healthcare for themselves is immoral.

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Contents: "But you never try to cut people off of a program and then say 'we'll fix it later' and 'good luck in the meantime.' 'This is the only place you can get healthcare, but good luck.'"

Republican Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph says he understands the political statement Democrats are trying to make, but thinks they are missing the point.

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Contents: "I just think that's an inconsistent message. The message, again, should be that we support employers providing healthcare insurance for their employees. And when we do that we lessen the desire and the need for Medicaid."

Ammendments to cut healthcare benefits for legislators have failed in both houses.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Ian Roth.

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Legislators were unwilling to cut their healthcare benefits today, killing an ammendment that would have cut their health insurance premiums by twenty percent.

Ian Roth has more for us from Jefferson City.

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By a margin of only three votes, state representatives killed an ammendment that would have cut their very own state-provided health care benefits.

The ammendment was proposed in protest of controversial Medicaid cuts.

Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty of St. Louis expressed his disapproval of the decision, pointing out hypocrisy in legislators' willingness to cut health benefits to citizens, but not themselves.

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Contents: "That is a morally bankrupt way of trying to address problems in Missouri. You don't keep your own healthcare and cut other people off."

Similar ammendments to cut healthcare benefits to legislators have been killed in both houses.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Ian Roth.