MM Curator summary
The Governor notifies the legislature that there will be program cuts if the provider-tax funding device is not able to be passed.
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By Jeanne Kuang | The Kansas City Star (TNS)
JEFFERSON CITY — Medicaid budget cuts are coming next month unless lawmakers strike a deal to renew a critical medical provider tax that underwrites a major portion of the state’s health coverage program for low-income residents, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson warns.
Lawmakers did not renew the tax, which expires Sept. 30, before they ended their session May 14. At issue was a fight led by Republican Sens. Paul Wieland, of Imperial, and Bob Onder, of Lake St. Louis, to insert language banning Medicaid coverage of certain birth control methods.
The tax collected from hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies generates roughly $1.6 billion a year. That allows the state to bring in $3 billion in federal funds that is returned to the facilities for treating low-income elderly and disabled residents enrolled in the state’s $12 billion Medicaid program.
“The clock’s ticking on us,” Parson told reporters Monday. “If there’s not some sort of agreement where we have a solution, and it doesn’t happen before July 1, there’s not going to be choices. We’re going to have to start withholding [from the budget] July 1.”
Gov. Mike Parson signs prescription drug monitoring program bill on Monday, June 8, 2021. (Handout photo/governor’s office)
The $35 billion state budget sitting on Parson’s desk for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes increased funding for homes for the developmentally disabled, higher Medicaid payments to nursing homes and expanded mental health services.