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Missouri to Get Federal Medicaid Help

By H. Wicai, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – President Bush Wednesday signed into law a tax cut package that also contains aid for the states.

That package should translate into about $186 million earmarked for Missouri's Medicaid program.

Attorney Joel Ferber with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri says that funding is matching money that's based on Missouri's Medicaid spending in the past. But he says the current budget proposal cuts 13,000 adults from Medicaid.

The fewer dollars Missouri spends the fewer federal matching dollars it'll receive," Ferber said. "The bottom line is if Missouri cuts Medicaid it'll get less federal aid. Whether it made sense to cut Medicaid before or not, it makes not sense now from a fiscal perspective.

Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway says Republican lawmakers appear set to use the influx of federal aid, to restore some of their planned cuts.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said Wednesday the state would try to balance the books without counting on or figuring in the added federal aid.


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