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Blunt Defends Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Gov. Matt Blunt (UPI photo)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's proposed budget cuts drew a few dozen people to a committee hearing in Jefferson City on Tuesday.

Most of the people spoke on behalf of the disabled. Blunt's proposed budget would make it harder for the disabled to qualify for Medicaid. It would also halt coverage for items like wheelchairs and ambulance rides.

But the Governor defended his budget in St. Louis, tying the cuts to a need for more money for schools: "If we're going to get dollars into Missouri classrooms, increase funding for state schools, and ensure that we hold the line on job-destroying taxes, we have to control state spending and that includes social welfare spending."

Blunt's planned Medicaid cuts would save the state more than $600 million and take about 89,000 Missourians off Medicaid.

He also wants to boost school funding by nearly 5%.

The governor also says his proposed cuts do not break any campaign promises. Blunt says during his campaign he opposed a House plan that would have impacted children on Medicaid, adding "every child on Medicaid today will be on Medicaid when all the [proposed] changes are made."


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