Show-Me state cuts DME funding

Saturday, April 30, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Senate approved a bill in March that eliminates the state Medicaid requirement to fund most adult DME.
With a 20-11, mostly partisan vote, the Senate approved the plan that would shrink the Medicaid program and eliminate coverage for more than 100,000 people, according to the Kansas City Star.
"This proposal is among the largest, deepest and broadest in the United States today. No other state has considered cuts this great," Rachel Klein of Families USA, a Washington-based advocacy group, told the newspaper.
The legislation passed the plan after two days of intense debate on the role the government should play in meeting its citizens' health care needs. The bill was expected to reach a vote in the House in April, where observers anticipated it would pass with little opposition.
The bill did make changes to the program, but was not an appropriations bill. DME funding for 2006 remained undetermined at press time.
Missouri providers are facing the elimination of the adult DME benefits under the Medicaid program. Republican Gov. Matthew Blunt proposed the cuts in January to saddle the program's ballooning spending. One million of the state's 5.7 million people are in the Medicaid program.