Medicaid | St. Louis Public Radio

Medicaid

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri legislature convenes this Wednesday.

The hallmark issue may be Medicaid expansion.  Topics of tax credits and arming classroom teachers are also expected to come up for debate.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Beacon political reporter Jo Mannies, and University of Missouri – St. Louis political science professor Terry Jones about the upcoming session.

via Flickr/yomanimus

A conservative group is calling on Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Missouri lawmakers to return any budget surplus there may be next year to taxpayers.

Nixon and GOP legislative leaders are expecting a 3.1 percent growth in state revenues during the next fiscal year.  Patrick Werner heads the Missouri Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which advocates for fiscally conservative practices.  He says any left over money should either be returned to taxpayers or socked away in the state’s Rainy Day fund.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Gov. Jay Nixon's administration is bolstering his plan to expand Missouri's Medicaid program with an analysis estimating that it could save the state money in the near future.

Figures released this past week by Nixon's budget office show Missouri could see a nearly $47 million increase in general revenues during the first year of the Medicaid expansion in 2014. That boost in state revenues would grow to nearly $140 million in 2016 before beginning to decline.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has been touring the state this week, promoting the so-called three “E’s” that House Republicans say they’ll focus on next year – the economy, energy, and education – but their agenda still likely won't include a fourth “E," expansion of Medicaid.

Jones told a group of reporters in Jefferson City today that House budget writers start off every year looking for $150-$200 million for the state’s Medicaid needs.

Missouri Foundation for Health

Most Missourians support Medicaid expansion and believe the state government has a responsibility to ensure access to affordable health care, according to a new survey by the Missouri Foundation for Health.

What's particularly noteworthy about this survey is that a majority of the responders agreed this is a responsibility that must be met, even if it means raising taxes. 55 percent of responders say Missouri's state government must act to do so, while 34 percent say we can't afford it.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Dec 6, 2012

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.

On today's episode: We discuss Representative Jo Ann Emerson's early departure, and who's on the short-list to replace her, where we stand on Medicaid expansion, and Senator Claire McCaskill's recent PR tour.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

People and groups who work with Medicaid clients urged Missouri lawmakers today to expand coverage in next year’s state budget.

Cynthia Keele from NAMI Missouri (National Alliance on Mental Illness) told a State House budget subcommittee that expanding Medicaid would help families dealing with medical debt.

“Missouri medical debt is responsible for about 40 percent of the bankruptcies in Missouri, and I know that because I’m a banker’s wife," Keele said.  "Those bankruptcies and medical debt kill jobs.”

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Nov 29, 2012

St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about a few political issues.

 

On this week's episode: Nixon taking a stance on Medicaid expansion, Missouri Republican plans to cut taxes and St. Louis County's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 11:37 a.m. with reaction from Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill and at 12:01 p.m. with statements from community organizations and Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones. Updated 5:59 p.m. with additional reporting from St. Louis.

Gov. Jay Nixon says expanding Medicaid eligibility in Missouri is both "the smart thing" and "the right thing to do."

Nixon announced his support for the expansion Thursday, saying it could provide health care coverage to an additional 300,000 Missourians.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

A new report says Missouri's Medicaid costs could rise by 6.6 percent over 10 years if the state fully implements the federal health care law.

But the report also says almost half of that increase will occur even if Missouri does not expand Medicaid eligibility for adults.

The report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Urban Institute says Missouri can expect to spend an additional $1.2 billion from 2013 to 2022 as more people join the Medicaid rolls because of the federal health care law.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is urging state lawmakers to not create a health insurance exchange or expand Medicaid when they convene for their regular session next year.

In-school health clinic opening at Roosevelt High

Aug 30, 2012
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Students at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis can now access medical care through an in-school health clinic.

The clinic is operated by Mercy Hospital and received funding through $500,000 grant from Boeing.

Crystal Gale is the Principal of Roosevelt High.  She says the facility will provide basic medical services for students, as well as the children of students.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Patriot Coal files for bankruptcy protection

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

(Courtesy Missouri Foundation for Health)

A new report by the Missouri Foundation for Health estimates that about two-thirds of Missouri's more than 800,000 uninsured could get health insurance under the federal health care law  - and the county-level data suggest that rural counties will benefit the most.

The analysis uses census data to project how the number of uninsured could change in every county in Missouri under the Affordable Care Act.

File photo

House Speaker Steven Tilley says there is no need for a special session to decide whether Missouri should opt out of a Medicaid expansion.

This story will be updated.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed nearly $1.6 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid into law.

His signature means that nearly 25,000 working parents will lose state-funded health care on July 1. Regular dental care is being eliminated for adults. Those who need eyeglasses will be able to get a new pair once every two years. And patients who take more than four prescription drugs will have to get prior approval from the state.

Quinn this morning also signed a dollar-a-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax.

cigarette
seannaber | Flickr

The Illinois House has agreed to raise tobacco taxes as part of a plan to strengthen the state Medicaid program.

The tax increase passed 60-52 Friday. It now goes to the Senate, which has backed similar increases in the past.

It more than doubles the tax on cigarettes, to $1.98 a pack. Other tobacco products would see a similar tax increase.

It also would create a special tax on hospitals that would then be matched by the federal government and returned to the state.

In all, it's supposed to raise $800 million a year for the Medicaid program.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Updated 5:25 a.m. Friday with final vote information. Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey was used in this story.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, the Illinois Senate approved the cuts by a vote of 44-13.

African-American lawmakers continued their opposition to the cuts, saying they fall disproportionately on their constituents.

(via Flickr/teejay)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state's Medicaid program will receive about $42,000 from a national legal settlement with Walgreen Co.

The settlement resolves complaints that Walgreen's improperly tried to get people to switch their prescriptions to its pharmacies. The company has agreed to pay civil damages totaling $7.9 million to states and the federal government.

Koster says that from early 2005 to June 2010, Walgreen Co. offered gift cards and gift checks to people who receive government health care to entice them to transfer their prescriptions.

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reported for this story.

Legislators' initial plans for reducing Illinois' Medicaid expenses have been unveiled - but other controversial aspects of the savings plan have yet to be filed as legislation.

A portion of the estimated savings comes from kicking undeserving recipients off the rolls. 

Illinois would no longer just assume people remain eligible for Medicaid, a practice Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, says has caused skepticism.

(via Flickr/JimBowen0306)

Reporting from Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.

Like its counterpart in Missouri, the Illinois General Assembly is heading into the home stretch.

Lawmakers there have a bit more time to get through their agenda - their session isn't scheduled to end until the end of May. But unlike lawmakers in Missouri, Illinois legislators have a monumental task in front of them - passing a state budget.

Most state agencies will have their budget cut by 9 percent.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R) briefly addressed the Missouri House today.

Blunt spent most of his nine-minute speech criticizing government growth and overregulation.  He was especially critical of the federal government’s attempts to regulate family farms.

"We don’t need people in Washington DC deciding what farm kids can do on family farms," Blunt said to applause.  "We don’t need the EPA trying to spend all this time figuring out how you can farm without dust.”

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Gov. Pat Quinn says saving the Illinois Medicaid program will require cutting services, raising cigarette taxes and cutting payments to health-care providers.

Aides to the Democratic governor told The Associated Press on Thursday that Quinn is proposing a cigarette tax increase of $1 per pack. They expect the tax to generate about $337 million, which would then be matched by the federal government.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Hundreds of thousands of low-income Missourians can begin enrolling in new Medicaid insurance plans Thursday, despite a lingering lawsuit seeking to halt the process.

In a deposition obtained by The Associated Press, state Medicaid director Ian McCaslin said it would create a "nuclear scenario" for the program if a judge grants an injunction blocking the state from implementing its new Medicaid managed care contracts.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.

Ill. lawmakers have packed agenda when they return to Springfield

State lawmakers in Illinois have about seven weeks left to untangle a host of thorny problems.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers say a cigarette tax increase is on the table as a bipartisan committee strains to find $2.7 billion in cuts to the Illinois Medicaid program.

Two Republicans and two Democrats are charged with finding a deal. But they're confronting fundamental differences, including disagreement on the cigarette tax.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says Gov. Pat Quinn's administration floated a proposal that included $1.3 billion in cuts to Medicaid program spending, a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax and rate cuts to health care providers.

via Flickr | jennlynndesign

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have passed that chamber’s version of the state budget for next year.

The Senate plan is about $86 million smaller than the version passed by the House last month.  Cuts include $13 million from child care provider grants, $7 million from other childcare services, and $1 million from meals at state prisons.  Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) acknowledges that many of the cuts target Medicaid.

Flickr/rosemary

State officials: Mo. tightening Medicaid eligibility criteria

Low-income seniors and the disabled can qualify for Medicaid, even if their income is higher than the program's limits. They can do so by making a monthly payment to the state or by spending their excess income on medical bills.

(via Flickr/bgottsab)

An adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers would have to choose everything on a list of possible Medicaid cuts to get to the $2.7 billion proposed by the governor.

Among the options on a list prepared by Quinn's administration is a 9 percent reduction in payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmacies.

The list includes changing eligibility rules for nursing homes and at-home help so that some incontinent elderly people who can't prepare their own meals would be denied state-financed care.

(via Flickr/-Tripp-)

Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll propose closing "quite a few" Illinois state facilities in his budget address next week.

Quinn, a Democrat, did not give the Associated Press any specifics about the closures, saying details will come during his budget address next Wednesday.

Pages