Missouri House holds Medicaid hearing to address cuts

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JEFFERSON CITY- Some Missouri house members held a hearing Thursday to begin addressing how 130,000 Missourians were dropped from Medicaid in the past year.

Democrat representative Doug Clemens of St. Ann said this is a big problem.

"We're facing a real crisis in the state of Missouri when it comes to health care," he said.

Lawmakers heard accounts from witnesses about their experiences with the Medicaid system. Many giving testimony work in fields where they have helped others get Medicaid, but some were Medicaid recipients themselves.

Clemens said it was emotional hearing so many peoples' stories.

"To see somebody who's really suffering the results of what's happening in our system, it really pulls at the heartstrings," he said. "It really gives you the idea that we have to get this done."

They pointed to numerous issues with the Medicaid system. Some said the problem was with the renewal process, and that many recipients were confused by the renewal form. Some said their clients were dropped from Medicaid even though they turned the forms in on time due to a faulty computer system.

Others pointed to lack of proper communication. Some said their clients had not even received notification that they needed to renew while others had difficulty getting ahold of someone at the call center. 

Rep. Clemens said there's not one specific cause that lawmakers know of yet. He said they will work with the Department of Health and Senior Services and MO Healthnet to figure out where the problem lies.

"A lot of people are pointing different directions of what the root cause of the issue is," Clemens said. "The biggest issue that we're facing right now is that no one is investigating what the root cause is."

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