Medicaid

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Another proposal for revamping Missouri's Medicaid system was heard Tuesday before a House interim committee examining ways to reform the system.

Gov. Jay Nixon says there's a distinction between a gas tax increase and "trying to get some sort n between a gas tax increase and as being different "than trying to get some sort of generalized additional revenue."
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The anticipated meeting next week between Gov. Jay Nixon and top legislative leaders, to discuss health care and Medicaid, may be on the ropes as a result of a dispute over how and where the session would proceed.

"At this point, the meeting has been cancelled,'' said state Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, adding that he was taken aback by the governor's angry response to the legislators' conditions for the meeting.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate interim committee examining the state's Medicaid system voted this afternoon to adopt a draft report that recommends using managed care companies to provide health coverage to more of Missouri's working poor.

The report also deliberately excludes recommendations to expand Medicaid.  State Senator and committee chair Gary Romine (R, Farmington) maintained that Medicaid must be reformed first.

Mo. House Communications

The chair of a Missouri House interim committee on Medicaid has offered the beginnings of a potential plan to overhaul the system.

It includes expanding Medicaid coverage to around 225,000 adults while eliminating or reducing coverage for children and blind adults eligible for federally subsidized insurance policies.  State Representative Jay Barnes (R, Jefferson City) says the potential changes could save the state around $42 million by the time they're fully implemented.

(Flickr/HackingNetflix)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is proposing a Thanksgiving week meeting with Missouri lawmakers to discuss potential changes to the Medicaid health care system.

Nixon wants to meet Nov. 26 with members of House and Senate interim committees who have been studying potential Medicaid changes ahead of the 2014 session. The governor says he wants to talk about ways to "provide better outcomes for patients and better returns for taxpayers."

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

The St. Louis-based safety-net healthcare provider ConnectCare will close its remaining facilities at the end of next week.

The Smiley Urgent Care Center, along with ConnectCare’s radiology, pharmacy, laboratory and preventative services will all close on Nov. 15.

The nonprofit organization, which served patients regardless of their ability to pay, had already discontinued outpatient specialty care and transportation services last month.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A second day of hearings has concluded into Missouri's Medicaid system by an interim House committee tasked with putting together a potential overhaul that could include expansion.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House interim committee has resumed its series of hearings into the state's Medicaid system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Much to the relief of health officials in the region, the federal government has decided to renew a waiver that guarantees continued health-care services to thousands of patients who signed up for Medicaid under a pilot program. Called Gateway to Better Health. The program has been offering primary, specialty and urgent care to more than 23,500 residents in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A series of hearings by state lawmakers into Missouri's Medicaid system has begun.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in St. Louis on Thursday to talk about the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius met with city and county officials and representatives of the local healthcare community in a closed-door session at St. Louis City Hall.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Sebelius said as of October 1, Missourians will be able to purchase health insurance through a new online marketplace.

Sebelius said many of Missouri's 800,000 uninsured will be able to get coverage.

Linda Spina, center, with helpers sorting donations to Nurses for Newborns.
Robert Joiner | St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With years of experience as a nurse and a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health, Linda Spina has gained a lot of insight into why babies are born too soon, weigh too little, and, in some instances, die prematurely. She also has learned that conventional wisdom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to saving at-risk newborns.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The reduction of health programs at ConnectCare will go beyond important specialty medical services and will extend to the crucial transportation network that has made it possible for some patients to get treatment at the site at 5535 Delmar Blvd.

Health planners said they will be scrambling to figure out which medical systems can provide specialty care to the more than 10,000 patients being displaced by ConnectCare’s decision. The planners promise to find transportation to alternative facilities.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has again come under the microscope of an interim legislative committee looking into whether state agencies are operating efficiently.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate interim committee looking into the state's Medicaid system heard from several doctors and other health care providers Wednesday at a hearing in Jefferson City.  

Among those testifying was Thomas Hale, M.D., a St. Louis-based physician working with Sisters of Mercy.  He told the panel that Medicaid needs to be expanded to make up for the pending loss of federal reimbursements to hospitals, known as DSH payments ("dish").

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Updated July 23 9:01 a.m. with reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is beginning to implement the Affordable Care Act.  The Governor signed a major component of it into law Monday.

Government backed health insurance is available to seniors; Medicare kicks in at age 65.

And Medicaid's available to low-income children, and their parents.

The new law will extend Medicaid to childless adults with incomes under $16,000.

State Senator Heather Steans, the Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones on Thursday formally announced the creation of two interim committees that will look at ways to reform the state's Medicaid system.

Tim Jones converses with supporters of Medicaid expansion.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones contends that Gov. Jay Nixon’s latest objection to the tax-cut measure sitting on his desk is “a red herring” that the governor is using to make his expected veto more palatable.

Jones, R-Eureka, was referring to the discovery by Nixon and his staff that the tax-cut bill, HB253, would eliminate the state’s longstanding sales tax exemption on prescription drugs.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's legislative session has ended, with several issues resolved and several more that came up just short.  St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the final day, and at what happens now:

A few that didn't make it, and a few that did

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

The director of Missouri's Medicaid health care program is out of a job.

Ian McCaslin confirmed to The Associated Press that as of Tuesday, he is no longer the director of the MoHealthNet Division of the Department of Social Services.

McCaslin declined to say whether he resigned or was dismissed by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

A Nixon spokesman had not responded Tuesday to questions about McCaslin's departure. A department spokeswoman also had no immediate response. 

flickr/Talk Radio News Service

David Axelrod, the former senior advisor to President Obama spoke at Webster University Friday, speaking on a variety of topics, including the Affordable Care Act.

Axelrod was a key advisor to the president during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Axelrod used his time to take a swipe at states (like Missouri) doing their best to not implement parts of the law.

“There are still many snipers on rooftops trying to make it not work, in the form of Governors and Congressmen," Axelrod said. "But I think it’s important for the country that it succeeds.”

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has formally rejected the Senate version of the state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations over the state’s spending plan for next year.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

An alternate Medicaid expansion bill that contained some reforms sought by Missouri House Republicans is all but dead this year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 crammed into the Rotunda of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday to hear Governor Jay Nixon (D) call for expanding Medicaid to an additional 300,000 residents, nearly 260,000 of them by next year.

He told the crowd that the people he wants to add are those with low-paying jobs that don’t include health coverage.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senate Republicans were visited Tuesday by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

As he did last week with House Republicans, Nixon pitched his proposal to expand Medicaid to an additional 260,000 Missourians next year.  He told reporters afterwards that it went well, and that much of the discussion focused on the alternate Medicaid package moving through the Missouri House.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics. This week, however, Chris is out on vacation - so St. Louis Public Radio's Missouri Statehouse reporter joins us. 

 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee has passed the Republicans’ alternative to the Medicaid expansion being sought by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says it’s possible that he could support the House Republicans’ alternate Medicaid proposal, if some crucial changes are made.

He met with the GOP caucus today to discuss his Medicaid expansion proposal and their plans to reform the system.  Nixon told reporters afterwards that any proposal still needs to expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,500 for a family of four.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the State House.

While Medicaid expansion has dominated most of the debate, spending hikes were approved in other areas.  There’s an extra $65 million for K-12 schools, although the increase still falls short of fully funding the state’s public school formula.  Republican Mike Lair of Livingston County chairs the Appropriations committee on Education.

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