Monday, February 07, 2005

State Medicaid Watch: Missouri

This article from last Friday's Kansas City Star has great detail on the full extent of Gov. Blunt's (extensive) proposed cuts to Medicaid, and his cuts to programs for people with disabilities generally. The whole thing's worth a read for anyone interested in these issues, but the most rage-producing part for me is when Blunt tries to assume the mantle of the deinstitutionalization movement to justify cutting back on institutional placements for people with mental retardation (including closing one very troubled institution):

A habilitation center in St. Louis, one of five in the state, is slated to close. Two others — in Nevada and Marshall — would downsize. That would force 400 mentally retarded adults to find care in community-based programs.

Blunt said they would be better served outside of institutions. But community mental health programs also would be cut by $13.4 million under Blunt's plan. And three of the state's 39 independent living centers also would be shut. It has not been determined which ones would close.

Memo to Gov. Blunt: You can't claim to support deinstitutionalization and independent living while you're cutting community-based programs.


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