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Hundreds of Medicaid recipients packed a committee room Monday in the state capitol as a senate panel considered a bill that would cut tens of thousands off the government-funded healthcare program. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
The legislation would cut the Medicaid program and create the savings Governor Matt Blunt outlined in his budget proposal.
Legislative staffers estimate tens of thousands of Missourians would lose all Medicaid coverage under the bill.
During a public hearing on the bill, state workers told senators about alleged abuses of the Medicaid system.
But senators also heard from people like Bob Pund, a Medicaid recipient who was paralyzed following a car accident in 1989.
Democrats like St Louis City Senator Pat Dougherty say cutting Medicaid will come with a high cost'a cost that isn't just measured in dollars.
Dougherty gave the example of a diabetic who relies on Medicaid to pay for podiatry services.
Podiatry is only one medical service that would be eliminated for adults under the proposal.
Adults would also lose dental care.
After about four hours of public testimony, Senator Pat Dougherty's questioning led to an angry reaction from bill sponsor Republican Chuck Purgason of South Central Missouri.
The legislation is up for consideration in a senate committee.
If approved, it would move to the senate floor for debate.