Lawmakers Already Maneuvering on Medicaid

1 decade 8 months 3 weeks ago January 05, 2006 Jan 5, 2006 Thursday, January 05 2006 Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:33:19 PM CST in News

Last year, the Republican-controlled House and Senate cut Medicaid benefits to about 90,000 low-income Missouri residents.

And, despite widespread criticism Republican lawmakers say they want to make more changes in the state's program this year.

"One, that health care is available and affordable to all Missourians and, secondly, to shift the focus so it's on keeping people healthy, preventing illness, rather than only being about treating people when they're sick," said Sen. Michael Gibbons of St. Louis County.

But, Democratic Rep. Jeff Harris of Columbia responded, "Any improvements at this point would certainly be welcome. But, it's really a day late and a dollar short for the 350,000 Missourians whose health care was cut."

And, with November's election already on lawmakers' minds, Democrats hope to use Republicans' Medicaid cuts as a campaign issue.

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