Health Care Question Gets Two Answers

1 decade 2 years 3 months ago Thursday, March 01 2007 Mar 1, 2007 Thursday, March 01, 2007 7:04:45 PM CST March 01, 2007 in News

"We want restoration of the cuts that happened two years ago," said Sen. Wes Shoemyer (D) Clarence, "That people living in poverty have access to health care."

"I have to sacrifice my health care to keep my lights on and keep food on the table for my kids," said Richard Green, a supporter of "first thing's first" without health care. "Today is the last day for my Medicaid benefits. I will not have health insurance for at least another two years.

With the end of Medicaid approaching in 2008, Governor Blunt's proposed Missouri HealthNet bill is raising some controversy.

"The legislation that the Governor is promoting in the Senate is talking about Mo. HealthNet, which, frankly, did not address putting health care back to the very few individuals," said Shoemyer.

Members and supporters of the "first thing's first" campaign want to propose a bill that will reinstate the budget cuts of 2005 that left more than 700,000 Missourians uninsured. The new Mo. HealthNet plan will look at health care a different way.

"Mo. HealthNet is a plan to reform the Medicaid system and also to give people more access to health insurance," said Sen. Charles Shields (R) St. Joseph. "It's designed to take the Medicaid system and transform it to Missouri HealthNet, which means everybody under the plan will have a health improvement plan."

Although reform may be in the future, some say reform is not an option.

"They need to restore the benefits they once had because they aren't benefits, they are necessities," said Columbia resident Bob Pund.

The Mo. HealthNet bill will go to committee next week for a vote. Democrats proposed the second health care bill in the House and Senate this week.

The newly proposed MO health Net plan would focus on:

Reforming the medicaid system.

Giving more access to health insurance.

Wellness prevention.

Improving quality of life.

Better health outcomes.

Disease preventions.

The bill was proposed 2 weeks ago and will go to committee for voting next week.

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