State Representative Noel Torpey (R-Independence) has filed legislation, HB 1901, that proposes to reform Missouri’s Medicaid program. Passage of the bill would allow Missouri to take advantage of the 100% federal match now available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and thereby extend health coverage to thousands of currently uninsured Missourians. According to one estimate by the Missouri Hospital Association, expanding Medicaid could offer health coverage to over 160,000 currently uninsured Missourians.
In addition to expanding Medicaid, HB 1901 would require recipients to take on more personal responsibility for their health care than is called for under the present program. Co-pays would be required and there would be incentives to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits.
Currently, Missouri is one of the stingiest states in providing Medicaid health coverage to custodial parents. Currently, a mother with two children only qualifies if her income is at or below $3,612 a year. That translates into about 18% of the federal poverty level. HB 1901 would expand health coverage to 138% of the federal poverty level.
The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) supports legislation such as HB 1901 that calls for both rights and responsibilities in healthcare. The MCC will keep you posted as the legislation hopefully moves forward in this year’s legislative session.
Posted: February 21, 2014