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Medicaid cuts pass the Missouri legislature

April 7, 2005
By: Victor Roberto
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 539

The Missouri legislature has finally approved drastic changes in Medicaid.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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The Missouri legislature has shortened the life span of Medicaid...to just three years.

Lawmakers have passed the bill that will make huge changes to the program.

An estimated 100,000 people will no longer be eligible for the same Medicaid coverage.

And the Medicaid program will be completely eliminated in 2008.

House Republicans say the cuts are necessary to manage the system...which they say has spiraled out of control.

Republican Representative Brian Yates of Lee's Summit, says Democrats want to keep people on Medicaid...but they simply can't figure out how to pay for it.

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Contents: It's easy to stand up here and say, 'let's keep people on the system, let's keep expanding the system.' But if you don't pay for the bills, we can't do it. Show me the money.

Democrats say Governor Blunt has broken his campaign promise not to cut health care.

The Governor's office says he will sign the bill later this month.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.

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Medicaid cuts have nearly completed their legislative journey.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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Republicans say the state just can't afford it...but Democrats say the decision is Draconian.

Missouri lawmakers passed the bill cutting an estimated 100,000 people off Medicaid.

After hours of emotional debate, the Missouri House approved the cuts...along with the decision that the program will be completely eliminated in three years.

Republican Rep. Richard Byrd of St. Louis County says politics is about allocating the state's scarce resources...and Medicaid is an inefficient use of Missouri's money.

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Contents: Even if we vote no on this bill, we're simply passing the buck to the budget committee, who will have to make essentially those same cuts.

Democrats agree that there is a problem with Medicaid, but that this bill is not the answer.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.