NCART brochure criticizes Missouri Medicaid cuts

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

DES MOINES, Iowa -- NCART kept up its full court press against Medicaid cuts at July's National Governors' Association meeting by lashing out at Missouri Gov. Matthew Blunt.
NCART passed out hundreds of brochures at the annual meeting that criticized Missouri's chief executive with the pronouncement: "When Missouri's Budget Needed To Be Cut, Governor Matt Blunt Did It The Wrong Way!"
"We were concerned about the situation going on in Missouri, and at the meeting the governors tend to talk to one another," said NCART's executive director, Sharon Hildebrandt. "We were concerned that some of them might think the Missouri idea was a good idea and a model, and we wanted to nip that in the bud to let them know that there were ramifications to what happen there that they needed to considered before they start going down that path.
Missouri's recent $231 million Medicaid cut, which eliminated 90,000 people from the program, hit DME hard. For instance, Missouri Medicaid will purchase a power wheelchair for a patient, but not the battery needed to run it. The state will purchase respiratory medications, but not the nebulizers to dispense them.
"These cuts are inhumane and senseless," said Hildebrandt. "Gov. Blunt is seeking to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, our children and the elderly. We want other governors around the nation to know that there will be a political price to pay if they follow the same shameful path as Missouri. We can not allow states to take away healthcare and medical equipment from the people who need the most help."
With states increasingly facing budget concerns, Hildebrandt said, a clear message has to be sent that Medicaid is not the place for governors to turn for a "quick fix" to their budget problems.