Key Missouri medical services remain unfunded as Congress focuses on taxes

Four key federal programs that impact Missouri health care providers and recipients remain unfunded as Congress keeps its focus on other issues.

A Sept. 30 deadline to renew the services passed as lawmakers in Washington were aggressively pushing to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, an effort which ultimately failed.  Now, Congressional Republicans are trying to finalize major changes to the tax code, with the Senate vowing to vote on a plan this week.

Of the four health care programs hanging in the balance, three deal with reimbursements to hospitals. They include funding for Medicare-dependent and low-volume hospitals, as well as money for medical centers that handle an especially large number of uninsured people who are unable to pay for care.

Providers are also concerned about renewal of coverage known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

Dave Dillon with the Missouri Hospital Association says the state has financing for these programs over the short term, but is hoping other states feeling the squeeze will speak out. “We’re holding out hope that, given the growing pressure from other states that are much closer to running out of funds, that Congress will take action,” said Dillon.

Read more: Missourinet

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