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Senate Bill 28 puts Missouri’s Medicaid program at Risk

Senate Bill 28 poses a serious threat to Missouri’s Medicaid program, which already has some of the strictest eligibility in the nation and covers only our most vulnerable citizens.  SB 28, also known as the Global Waiver Bill, would change the way our Medicaid system is funded. The federal government currently picks up a large share of Medicaid Health Insurance costs with no upper cap.  Under a block grant, the state would receive a capped dollar amount, putting Missouri taxpayers on the hook for any additional or unanticipated costs.  Shifting the financial risk to the state jeopardizes health services for thousands of Missourians, including those with serious mental illness.

There are many causes for concern with SB 28, including the following:

  • Block grants generally don’t keep up with increased health care costs, so Medicaid is slowly cut over time.
  • If an economic downturn, health epidemic, or changing demographics increase health care costs, Missouri won’t get additional federal support.
  • If Missouri’s costs exceed the amount in the block grant, it will have to use its own funds to make up the difference – or cut health services or eligibility for thousands of Missourians.

Today in Missouri, our Medicaid system is already leaving thousands of poor and disabled people behind.  A mother with two children and an annual income of only $4,000 is considered wealthy enough to buy her own insurance!  Any changes that could result in reducing Medicaid benefits or serving even fewer people is a move in the wrong direction.

NAMI Missouri opposes the block granting of state Medicaid programs.  There is still time to prevent this from occurring.  Contact your Senator today to share your concerns about SB 28.

Additional Information and Resources 

Legislator Lookup – Find contact information for your Senator.

SB 28 Action Alert from NAMI St. Louis – Provides an easy to use system to prepare a personalized email to your Senator.

Missouri Budget Project – The Medicaid page of their website provides fact sheets and related materials, including:

The Medicaid Block Grant; Who Will Suffer? – An article published in Missouri Autism Report and shared by Missouri Health Care for All.

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