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Newspapers Examine Health Care Proposals In Missouri

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Summaries of news coverage of health care proposals in Missouri and New Mexico appear below:

  • Missouri:State House Democrats on Monday announced a series of health careproposals that would expand Medicaid coverage and create a singlestatewide health authority, among other measures, the Kansas City Star reports. According to the Star,the package's "centerpiece" is a reversal of Medicaid cuts enacted in2005 that reduced services, raised fees and eliminated coverage forabout 90,600 people. The package also would create a Health PolicyAuthority that would oversee all state health programs, recommend waysto encourage medical professionals to open facilities in rural areasand develop plans to extend health coverage to the uninsured.Currently, state health programs are divided among several departmentsand have 31 different boards and commissions, state Rep. Judy Baker (D)said. The authority would be made up of an 11-member board appointed bythe governor that would have an office of inspector general toinvestigate fraud and improve efficiency of state health programs.Baker said the goal of the legislation is to ensure all state residentshave access to care. The package also includes $6 million in 2008 forsmoking cessation programs and language to increase physical activityamong school-aged children in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity(Wagar, Kansas City Star, 11/5).
  • NewMexico: Undocumented immigrants and some legal immigrants who have beenin the U.S. for fewer than five years would not be eligible forcoverage under Gov. Bill Richardson's (D) universal health coverage proposal because of Medicaid restrictions, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. Under Richardson's plan, state residents who are able toafford insurance would be required to obtain coverage and those whomeet income qualifications would be able to sign up for no-cost orlow-cost state-subsidized plans similar to Medicare. Employers would berequired to pay into a fund that helps subsidize coverage. Richardson,who also is a presidential candidate, next year will ask the stateLegislature to pass his health care proposal (Massey, AP/Houston Chronicle, 11/5).

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