Friday, November 9, 2007

Missouri House Democrats on Healthcare

By Paul LeVota

As a gubernatorial candidate Matt Blunt repeatedly promised not to cut Medicaid eligibility. One of his first acts as governor was to champion eligibility changes that resulted in 180,000 fewer Missourians, including 70,000 children, receiving health care coverage than when he took office. Ever since, Gov. Blunt has been trying to undo the damage to his re-election prospects through impressive sounding but superficial proposals that fail to undo the damage to those kicked off the health care system.

The governor’s first attempt was this year’s so-called MO HealthNet bill. Although trumpeted by the governor as a sweeping reform, its most significant changes simply renamed Missouri’s Medicaid program and the state agency that runs it. Rather than restoring health care to Missourians who need it, the bill actually imposed new bureaucratic barriers to coverage.

Heading into a gubernatorial election year, the governor now has announced his Insure Missouri proposal, which he claims would extend private health insurance coverage to 200,000 Missourians by 2010. Given the administration’s record on health care to date, the plan should be viewed with substantial skepticism.

The plan would pay for private insurance subsidies by using money currently paid to hospitals for providing emergency room care to the uninsured. Ironically, the governor added to the flood of uninsured Missourians seeking emergency room care by cutting Medicaid. Even if Insure Missouri’s optimistic coverage estimate is achieved, more than 500,000 Missourians would remain uninsured, with many continuing to rely on emergency rooms for their only access to care. Therefore it is questionable if Missouri hospitals can absorb the reduction in indigent care reimbursement over the long haul.

The shift in taxpayer-funded health care from Medicaid to private insurers also would result in a dramatic and wasteful increase in overhead. Whereas a mere 4 percent of the money spent on Medicaid goes for administrative costs, such costs account for a whopping 25 to 30 percent of premiums in the private market. Missouri could more efficiently use taxpayer money by restoring Medicaid eligibility to at least 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

The major deficiency is the proposal wouldn’t cover the sickest and most vulnerable Missourians -- children, the elderly and the disabled. And since the governor’s plan relies on providing coverage through health management organizations, it also ignores rural Missouri, where there is little HMO penetration.

House Democrats know that the best, most affordable to taxpayers and most efficient way to improve health care access in Missouri is to undo the governor’s damaging 2005 health care cuts. Shaky schemes built on uncontrollable factors and overly optimistic claims that fail to benefit the most vulnerable Missourians simply won’t hold up.

Last week House Democrats announced part of health care agenda for the 2008 legislative session. Key proposals include reversing the state’s Medicaid cuts and establishing a new Missouri Health Policy Authority. We made these announcements at a series of press conferences through out Missouri at medical facilities in Kirksville, St. Joseph, Springfield, and Scott City.

Although the state a $320 million general revenue surplus in the current budget, the governor says Missouri can’t afford to undo his damage. Yet restoring Medicaid eligibility would cost $155.8 million in general revenue – less than half of the surplus – and allow Missouri to leverage an additional $265.3 million in federal Medicaid funds that instead is going to pay for health care expansion in other states.

Ironically, the very reason we have a surplus is because the governor cut health care. You don’t leave money sitting in the bank when you have bills to pay, and right now Missouri isn’t paying its health care bills.

Streamlining a disconnected bureaucracy is another element of the health proposals in House Democrats’ Moving Missouri Forward legislative agenda for 2008. Based on similar efforts successfully implemented in Kansas, we propose establishing a Missouri Health Policy Authority to oversee and coordinate the state’s role in health care. By establishing this authority Missouri for the first time would have a team of health care professionals directing policy and ensuring efficient use of taxpayer resources.

While streamlining government’s role in health care is important, even the most efficient system is of little use if it isn’t accessible to the people who need it. Today, 180,000 fewer Missourians have access to health care than did nearly three years ago when Gov. Matt Blunt took office and enacted his devastating Medicaid cuts. The restoration of those cuts remains Priority No. 1 for House Democrats.

By reversing the governor’s health care cuts and streamlining government health care bureaucracy, House Democrats have a plan to put the state on the pathway to health coverage for all.

Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat, is the Missouri House Democratic.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blunt kicks off 100,000 from health care coverage - sending millions of dollars back to DC (which are used to cover the poor and the sick in Romney's Massachusetts and the Terminator's California)-, then comes up with a proposal to let a few thousand get health care again. Kinda like when he cut a dollar from education and then told them to be happy - look I'm giving you a dime. Here's hoping Levota is in the Speaker's chair in January of 2009.

Anonymous said...

tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape money runescape gold tibia money tibia gold runescape gold runescape accounts tibia gold tibia money runescape money runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia item buy runescape money runescape gold runescape items tibia money tibia gold

allen said...

buyWOW Gold andWOW Gold
buyEVE ISK
EVE Online ISKcheap
sellCheap EVE ISK
buyAO Creditssell
Archlord Goldcheap
Age of Conan Goldbuy
City of Heroes Influencecheap
COV Infamybuy
Dofus Kamasand cheap
Dofus moneybuy
Gaia Online Goldcheap
Gaia Goldbuy cheap
RF Online CP, Dalant, Disenasell
COH Influencebuy
AoC Goldnice
age of conan power levelingbset
EQ2 Goldcheap
Cheap EQ2 Goldbuy
EQ2 platsell
everquest 2 goldbuy
FFXI Gilbest
Cheap FFXI Gilcheap
Guild Wars Goldbuy
Cheap Guild Wars Goldbuy
Lineage 2 Adenasell
L2 Adenasell
Cheap Adenabuy
MapleStory Mesosnice
Cheap Mesoscheap
Runescape Moneybuy
Runescape Moneybest
Runescape Goldwant
runescape itemsneed
runescape accountsbuy
SilkRoad Goldcheap
world of warcraft goldbest
world of warcraft goldand
LOTRO Goldgood
Cheap LOTRO Goldnice
wow power levelingcheap
wow power levelingbest
world of warcraft power levelingsell
wow power levelingservice
wow power levelingsell
Final Fantasy XI Gilnice
lotro power levelingsell
swg creditscheap
Warhammer Goldbuy
Cheap Warhammer Goldnew
eq2 Goldhot
lotro Goldcheap
ffxi gilfast
cheap wow goldbuyrohan cronewow honor leveling

lijialefw said...

There are two wow gold very good games Web site, the site wow power leveling of a high degree of credibility, good power leveling quality and have a good trading platform, we can wow powerleveling have time to look at.

Anonymous said...

2moons dil
2moons gold
2moon dil
buy 2moons dil
cheap 2moons gold

9Dragons gold
9 Dragons gold
buy 9 Dragons gold
cheap 9Dragons gold
9Dragons money

aion gold
aion online gold
aion money
buy aion gold
cheap aion gold

Asda Story gold
Asda Story money
buy Asda Story Gold
cheap Asda Story gold

Anonymous said...

Here is the eve isk,
eve online isk is the regular site.
buy isk we supply the regular service.
I like to buy eve online isk here.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of wow gold in the game and you can try your best to earn them as much as you can.You only want to get more and more World of Warcraft Gold to let you become strong, so you can go to upgrade and kill the monsters alone.It is the beautiful new beginning of the game, and I like the warcraft gold I want to satisfy you too.However you can also go to buy wow gold alone or with your friends together.You can change them through the cheap wow gold. Yet the freedom you seek is as close as the next moment.

Anonymous said...

Two years passed, I still remembered the scene of fighting against wolves in Tir Chonaill with friends, sharing fruit which was got by our mabinogi gold around a fire, fishing in a clean pond. Players will have five seconds freezed to make their own preparation, when the fight beings, win or lose, it depends on your own cheap mabinogi. Here is some mabinogi money I took months ago; I was the guy wielding a thick sword. And I know it is rude enough to beat a woman. But, we can use some mabinogi online gold to edit some dates in the setup menu to change the clothes we wear. As a kind of fantastic online game, I think Mabinogi is more similar to comic and need to buy mabinogi gold.

jislsnhd said...

I always heard something from my neighbor that he sometimes goes to the internet bar to play the game which will use him some Entropiauniverse ped,he usually can win a lot of Entropia Universe Gold,then he let his friends all have some Entropia Universe Money,his friends thank him very much for introducing them the cheap Entropiauniverse ped,they usually Buy Entropia Universe Gold together.

jislsnhd said...

I am so happy to get some 2moons dil and the 2moons gold is given by my close friend who tells me that the 2moon dil is the basis to enter into the game. Therefore, I should buy 2moons dil with the spare money and I gain some cheap 2moons gold from other players.

Anonymous said...

It is called the Entropiauniverse ped world. In the Entropia world, Entropia Universe Gold is important. Entropia universe is role play where the user creates their own character and embarks on tasks, adventures and social interaction with other participants with Entropia Universe Money. Buy Entropia Universe Gold is a real thing to you. It is also possible to offer users the opportunity of buying and selling cheap Entropiauniverse ped.