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A Senate committee approved legislation that cuts roughly tens of thousands off Medicaid. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
The bill passed out of committee on a party line vote.
The sponsor of the measure, Republican Chuck Purgason of rural Southern Missouri says the Medicaid program is too large. He says the state keeps adding people to Medicaid even though there's little or no access to healthcare.
But democrats say it's wrong to cut people off Medicaid just because there's not enough money to cover the demand for services.
Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty of St Louis.
And Dougherty says cutting Medicaid won't decrease the need and demand for healthcare.
He says people who get cut from Medicaid will find other ways to get care.
Supporters of legislation that reduces the Medicaid rolls say they don't expect a crisis.
The bill sponsor Senator Chuck Purgason says there won't be a cost shift.
Democrats argue that Purgason's proposal will lead to tough choices.
Senator Pat Dougherty says the bill creates a situation where you have more healthcare needs than the state's willing to fund.
Supporters of the Medicaid cuts say there are other options for needy individuals.
They point out indigent healthcare is available though Federally Qualified Health Centers in communities throughout the state.
And Senator Chuck Purgason says it's a shame lawmakers allowed the Medicaid program to get out of hand in the first place.
The bill that cuts tens of thousands off Medicaid is slated to come before the full Senate Monday afternoon.
Democratic sources say democratic senators likely will try to stop the measure with a filibuster.