Missouri's Medicaid Cuts Criticized

1 decade 3 years 7 months ago Tuesday, March 14 2006 Mar 14, 2006 Tuesday, March 14, 2006 4:37:03 PM CST March 14, 2006 in News

Missouri will end Rosanna Cassidy's Medicaid at the end of this month because the state determined she makes too much money. But, Cassidy said she doesn't earn enough to keep her daughter insured.

"There's people out there that have to deal with it," Cassidy added, "people who have to live with it everyday and worry about it everyday."

Gov. Blunt's Medicaid cuts last April hurt about 100,000 Missouri seniors, poor and disabled people. So, 30 non-profit groups surveyed former or transitional Medicaid recipients to see how they're doing.

The Missouri Budget Project and the Missouri Association for Social Welfare said the survey shows Missouri isn't keeping track of those people. It also shows people who don't have insurance go to emergency rooms and free or community-based clinics, increasing the tax burden.

But, the Department of Social Services said the results "raise serious concerns about the credibility of the information," and the "survey, by its own admission, was not conducted scientifically."

The DSS statement also said, "The old, broken Medicaid system was not sustainable. We must design a new healthcare system that provides access to quality, while maintaining Medicaid as a safety net for the neediest."

However, survey supporters disagreed.

"We don't think it's cost-effective in the long run to cut people off," said Jennifer Hill of the Missouri Budet Project. "We don't think that it makes the program more efficient."

The survey included 2,500 volunteer participants. Saint Louis University's School of Public Health analyzed the report.

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