House Republicans deny Medicaid funding
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House Republicans deny Medicaid funding

Date: May 6, 2009
By: Theo Keith
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 11

Intro: House Republicans shot down a bill Wednesday that would put 35,000 Missourians back on Medicaid, saying it was welfare.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

OutCue: SOC

In a straight party line vote, House Republicans stopped a more than $7 billion bill in its tracks.

The vote came after an hour of debate that turned chaotic, with finger-pointing, catcalls and boos.

Republican Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt says Missourians don't want more welfare programs.

Actuality:  PRATT1.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "No, it's not the right time. We're in the middle of a worldwide recession. Our constituents twice in the last seven years have told us 'No.' And do we risk the future of our state by expanding welfare?"

Democrats say the program would restore the same number of people enrolled in Medicaid as there were before the former Republican governor cut funding.

Democrats also say federal money would pay for the program.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro: A major state budget bill will be up for debate again after the Republican House killed the measure Wednesday.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

RunTime: 0:39
OutCue: SOC

Floor debate on a bill that would get 35,000 Missourians back on Medicaid turned into pure chaos, with Republicans and Democrats yelling and booing at each other across the aisle.

The three House Republicans sent to compromise with the Senate say they weren't happy with the deal, and didn't sign the bill before the House began debate.

That was a sign of things to come.

GOP House members said they couldn't vote for a major welfare bill during a time of cutbacks.

Democrats said the federal government would cover the Medicaid costs, and giving Missourians health care would improve the economy.

The House and Senate have just two days to agree and get the bill passed before Friday's 6 p.m. deadline.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro: After House Republicans defeated a major state budget bill Wednesday and called it welfare expansion, the top House Democrat called them "extreme."

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

OutCue: SOC

Immediately after House Republicans voted against putting 35,000 Missourians back on Medicaid, Democrats gathered on the Capitol steps.

Democratic Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota says House GOP members are the extremes of their party.

Actuality:  LEVOTA3.WAV
Run Time: 00:15
Description: "I am absolutely dumbfounded that the House Republicans seem to be the last people in the state and in the country to understand the importance of using our money wisely to improve our economy."

LeVota says the state wouldn't have to pay a penny for the health care expansion.

But Republicans say Missouri can't afford more welfare programs.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro: House floor debate Wednesday spiraled into chaos as Democrats and Republicans yelled at each other across the aisle while deciding whether to put thousands of Missourians back on Medicaid.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City. 

OutCue: SOC

When Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt took the floor, the debate turned ugly.

Pratt accused Governor Nixon of illegal bribing Republicans to vote in favor of the Medicaid funding.


Actuality:  PRATT4.WAV
Run Time: 00:08
Description: PRATT: "If you vote a certain way on this bill and you get an appointment later on, or you get some special commission, that is against the law."

DEMOCRATS: "Point of order!"

But that wasn't the end of it.
Actuality:  PRATT5.WAV
Run Time: 00:05
Description: PRATT: "And I can hear the howls on the other side of the chamber, I can hear 'em, Mr. Speaker."

DEMOCRAT: "Ah-oooh!"

And House Democrats fought back.
Actuality:  PRATT8.WAV
Run Time: 00:02
Description: "Do like you do everybody else - make him sit down!"

When it was finally time for a vote, Republicans shot down the bill and the $150 million in Medicaid funding.
From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith, Newsradio 1120 KMOX. 


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