Senate bill would hamper Missouri’s ability to fund Medicaid program

Some in Missouri’s health care industry are sounding the alarm over the Senate health care bill’s proposed changes to fund Medicaid and its potential to adversely affect the state budget.

Missouri and 32 other states use multiple taxes on health care providers as a way to help the state fund the government-run health insurance program for low-income residents. The Senate bill would lower the threshold on how much can be collected through provider taxes.

Some critics of the Senate bill say tinkering with that funding mechanism will put increasing pressure on state budgets, and states would be forced to absorb more responsibility in paying for the program.

In Missouri, one in six residents relies on Medicaid for health care. As it stands, health care providers play a large role in paying for the program that nearly 1 million Missourians rely on for care.

The state taxes on health care providers such as hospitals and nursing homes create a pool of money that the federal government matches. For every dollar the state spends, the feds contribute 63 cents, according to figures from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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