Wednesday, February 16, 2005

State Medicaid Watch: Missouri

See this AP dispatch, which begins:

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a rare form of muscular dystrophy, Bobbette Figler relies on Medicaid to help pay for costly prescriptions and medical treatment. She also depends on state-supported personal assistants that help her with everyday chores, allowing the St. Louis resident to live independently and work part time.

But Figler said Wednesday her days of independence may be over if Medicaid cuts proposed by Gov. Matt Blunt are approved. She said she would lose her Medicaid funding and access to in-home help, leaving her with no choice but to quit her job and enter a nursing home to receive the care she needs.

"I realized my dream (of working) four years ago, and taking that away would be a total waste," she said.

Figler joined dozens of disabled Medicaid recipients and disability rights advocates Wednesday in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda to rally against the governor's proposed cuts.

Blunt's budget would lower the income eligibility criteria for disabled Medicaid recipients to about $580 per month from the current $775. It also would eliminate a program that allows many disabled Missourians to continue their Medicaid coverage while working part time. Medicaid coverage would no longer be available for medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and prosthetics.


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