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Nixon Urges Lawmakers to Reauthorize 'Missouri Rx'

Jay Nixon

In hopes of urging Missouri’s General Assembly to reauthorize “Missouri Rx”, Governor Jay Nixon made his rounds through Missouri on Tuesday to stress the importance of the program. One stop was at the Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the report.

In 2006 Missouri Rx was created to provide financial aid for low-income senior citizens and those with disabilities. The program covers half of any out of pocket costs for medication covered by Medicare Part D plans.

As Nixon points out, the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs can be challenging for senior citizens.

“For some seniors sky-rocketing prescription costs lead to unthinkable decisions, like choosing between filling this month’s prescription and putting food on the table. That’s a choice no senior should be forced to make,” Nixon says.

With any program comes resistance, and as Nixon explains, the majority of those who oppose the program take issue with the $20 million price tag it takes to operate Missouri Rx.

The governor admits that the $20 million does jump out when you’re putting together a budget, but says it doesn’t fully reflect what the program provides in return.

“I’ve had the folks come in and give me a full briefing of what we were getting for the $20 million and it’s just an amazingly efficient and effective program., a very important program,” he says.

The program is open to Missouri residents who are enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan and meet the income requirements. Elderly and disabled Missourians enrolled in MO HealthNet are automatically enrolled in Missouri Rx.

The program is set to expire by August 28 of 2011, unless lawmakers extend it with new legislation.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.