17 January 2008

Missouri plan won't work

A Families USA report has found that Missouri Governor Blount's health care reform proposal is a piecemeal plan that addresses only a portion of the individuals who lost coverage when he dramatically cut Medicaid several years ago. It wouldn't do a good job covering the 700,000 Missourians who are uninsured.
  • Eligibility criteria exclude many low-income adults, including people who were once covered under Medicaid.

  • Coverage offered is missing key benefits.

  • Cost-sharing is too high for many low-income people.

  • Shaky financing may do more harm than good.

The background information is that in 2005, Governor Blount cut the state's Medicaid program, resulting in upwards of 100,000 Missourians losing their coverage -- and more than 300,000 seeing their benefits sharply reduced. These cuts were some of the largest by any state in the history of the Medicaid program.

Low-income parents were the hardest hit. About 68,000 lost coverage. Missouri became the 41st state ranked in terms of working parents' eligibility for Medicaid.

This is part of the problem with health care being a charity rather than considered part of a government's legitimate protective functions.

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