Missouri Senate votes for initial passage of Medicaid bill.
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Missouri Senate votes for initial passage of Medicaid bill.

Date: April 4, 2007
By: Amy Becker
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Following five hours of debate, the new Medicaid bill passed for a third reading in the Missouri Senate. Amy Becker has more from the state Capitol.

With the promise of focusing on prevention instead of disease, Senate bill 577 passed for third reading by a majority of the senate.

One major issue was medicaid fraud, an issue the senate tried to address two years ago.
Democratic Senator Victor Callahan says the past bill put the cart before the horse in its attempt to curtail fraud.

Actuality:  CALLAHAN.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: It was outrageous that two years ago when we're talking or cutting a hundred thousand people off medicaid that this body did nothing about Medicaid fraud.  That is outrageous.

Callahan proposed an amendment to disregard two thirds of a family's income in determining eligibility for Medicaid but the Senate shot down his proposal.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.

After three days of debate, a Medicaid bill proposed by Senate majority leader Charlie Shields passed for third reading in the Senate. 
Amy Becker has more from the Missouri Senate.

The bill was met with mixed reviews by democrats and republicans, including Republican Senator Jason Crowell who begged the bill's sponsor Senate leader Charlie Shields to give him one reason to vote in favor of the bill.

One thing both parties agreed on was the slogan behind the bill. 

Democratic Senator Wes Shoemeyer who lead the debate for the democrats voiced what he believed the bill needed to do.

Actuality:  WES.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: We want this bill to be about, not people ending up in an emergency room, not coming to the doctor only when you're sick, but we want one, a bill that says we're going to address these issues before you're sick.



Democrats were mainly concerned about the eligibility issue of the new Medicaid bill and whether it would restore cuts made to the program two years ago.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.

The Missouri Senate voted for the initial passage of the new Medicaid reform bill.  The bill faced strenuous debate from both democrats and republicans but passed by a majority.

Amy Becker has more from the Missouri senate.

Democratic Senator Joan Bray addressed her concerns of how the bill handled Medicaid Fraud to Republican Senator Chris Koster, who had propsed a medicaid fraud bill last year.

Actuality:  BRAY.WAV
Run Time: 00:23

BRAY: I want us to understand what we're voting on here, that in fact it is a junior version of a good medicaid fraud bill.  And this doesn't get us, what other states get in terms of money, money, we're leaving money with the feds.

KOSTER:  Right, it's not the full monty, but it's not a bad show.


Bray says she would prefer if the bill left power with the people of Missouri instead of with bureaucrats.  She agreed with fellow democrats that the new bill may result in Doctors leaving the medicaid program.

From Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker.



OutCue: SOC