JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced a special session will begin Wednesday at noon to address funding for MO HealthNet.
On Monday, Parson set a tight deadline for the Medicaid tax, saying the fiscal year 2022 budget would be cut if not passed.
"After laying out the grim reality of our state's financial future if FRA is not extended, I believe legislators have now agreed to a compromise that will end this stalemate, so today I am announcing a special session to begin tomorrow at noon," Gov. Parson said in a news release.
The special session will focus on extending the Federal Reimbursement Allowances (FRA) and related allowances and taxes that are necessary for funding Mo HealthNet.
FRA provides funding to various health care providers across the state, including hospitals, pharmacies, mental health facilities, nursing facilities, EMS providers and others. FRA was born out of a public-private partnership between state hospitals and state government.
Since its formation, the FRA has passed every year. Parson states "the whole budget is on the presumption that it is going to get passed."
Gov. Parson held a press conference Monday afternoon warning that his administration would be forced to make budget restrictions across state government and the "consequences would be felt by all Missourians if the programs were not extended."
He gave lawmakers a Tuesday at noon deadline to reach the deal.
He also said failure to extend would cost the state an estimated $591 million in fiscal year '22 and $788 million in fiscal year '23. The Missouri Health Net program would also be reduced by $1.52 billion.
The $1.4 billion funding gap would have put education, workforce development and infrastructure investments on hold.
During the regular session, lawmakers failed to tend the FRA due to whether it would fund contraception and payments to Planned Parenthood through the Medicaid program.
Seven, pro-life Senators sent a letter to Gov. Parson Tuesday, asking him to call the General Assembly into session. The letter said they had reached a "common ground with the governor" and showed support for the FRA program, ensuring taxpayer dollars would not be used to fund abortion services. The letter assured Parson that once pro-life concerns were met, they would vote for the renewal of the FRA.
“A compromise to pass both protections for the unborn and the FRA would enable us to protect the most vulnerable in our state. As we all agree that time is of the essence, we urge you to call us into Extraordinary Session immediately,” the letter said.
The letter was signed by Sen. Rick Brattin, Sen. Eric Burlison, Sen. William Eigel, Sen. Denny Hoskins, Sen. Andrew Koenig, Sen. Mike Moon and Sen. Bob Onder.
According to a news release, the special session will focus on the following:
- Extend the expiration of the ground ambulance service reimbursement allowance
- Extend the expiration of the nursing facility reimbursement allowance
- Extend the expiration of the Medicaid managed care organization reimbursement allowance
- Extend the expiration of the FRA program
- Extend the expiration of the pharmacy tax
- Extend the expiration of the intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled assessment
- Prohibit abortifacient drugs and devices
- Prohibits funding for abortion facilities under the Uninsured Women's Health Program
- Allow the Senate to consider appointments that require the advice and consent of the Senate