The Health Care Checkup is a rundown of the state’s top health care headlines from the last week.
Exec warns House of rural hospitals’ fate
The state’s rural hospitals could risk failure if lawmakers decide against expanding eligibility for Medicaid, Kerry Noble, the CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Hospital in Hayti, told the House. The Kansas City Star reported that Noble stood alongside Rep. Jake Hummel, the House minority leader, to unveil legislation that would bring Medicaid eligibility requirements to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as called for by the federal health care law.
Nixon expresses optimism, takes appeal statewide
Gov. Jay Nixon has taken a tone of optimism about his push for Medicaid expansion and the Republican opposition to it, the St. Louis Beacon reported. Nixon does not expect the GOP bill to exactly meet his desires, but he said the fact that House Republicans were focusing on health care was, “a concrete step in the right direction.” St. Louis Public Radio reported that Nixon has appealed throughout the state. He recently appeared in St. Charles — an area that is typically considered conservative turf.
Conservative lawmakers remain unconvinced
Ozarks Public Radio reported that, despite Nixon’s tour around the state to promote his Medicaid expansion plan and the endorsements of rural businesses and health groups, conservative representatives are still not convinced.
House Republicans push for patient payments
State House Republicans would require patients to assume more “personal responsibility” for their health care, under their plans to reshape Missouri’s Medicaid program, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “It is reasonable to expect a recipient to have some ‘skin in the game,’ ” said Rep. Chris Molendorp, R-Belton.
Senator continues mental health campaign
Sen. Roy Blunt visited Crider Health Center in Wentzville last week to learn more about its integrated approach to mental health care, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Crider is both a community mental health center and a federally qualified health center — a characteristic that impressed Blunt. He is cosponsoring three bills in the U.S. Senate that aim to give more Americans access to mental health facilities.